Number of women on the rise in police force

08 March 2021

Arifur Rahman Rabbi :
Around the world, women now have more power than ever before. Men still dominate decision-making -- but the number of women is on the rise in parliaments and cabinets, judiciary and police forces, formal employment and education. Bangladesh is no exception of this.
Bangladeshi women are gradually building their position with knowledge and skills for time being. The participation of women has been increased in the challenging profession of law enforcement agency like the police.
At first of independent Bangladesh, there was no female member in the police force. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman appointed eight female constables in the police for the first time in 1974. After that recruitment of female members in police uniform started in 1976. That path started with the recruitment of only 11 female members.
According to the police headquarters, the total number of police personnel till January 2021 is 1,91,295. The total number of women working in different units is 15,163, which is 7.92% of the total manpower of Bangladesh Police.
DMP's Additional Deputy Commissioner (Mirpur Division) Mahmuda Afroz Lucky told The New Nation that the working environment for women in the police is much better. And they are working here with security. But our obstacles are our mentality, family, society.
Since we work in the crime division, we have to spend a little more time than others. When we are working for the safety of people, we have tension about our own families, especially the children that what they were doing and their safety, she said.
Government officers need world-class day-care centers in every area or district and upazila town. If the government can ensure it, we could work tension free who have small children, she further said.
The importance of females in the police force is increasing. They are also getting responsibilities in big and important posts according to their qualifications and opportunities. Beyond the border, the female police members have been played a significant role in UN peacekeeping missions.
Like the male members, they are surging forward with equal pace and challenge. The female police have had incredible success and got recognition in such challenging profession.
The Home Minister and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) have declared the police as women-friendly.
According to the police headquarters, there are a total of 285 first class women police officers working at different levels. Of these, two are in the post of Deputy Inspector General (DIG), three in the post of Additional DIG, while 71 are Superintendent of Police (SP), 110 are Additional SP and 99 are Assistant SP.
Besides, there are 109 inspectors, 797 sub-inspectors (SIs), 57 sergeants, 1109 assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs), 211 Nayak and 12,594 constables.
Although women members have served in various units of the police force, they have not been seen working as traffic sergeants earlier. 27 female sergeants joined and started working on the streets in 2017. At present, only 34 female members are working on the street as traffic sergeants in Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP).
DMP's Ramna Division traffic sergeants Sharmin Akhter Jahan told The New nation that "At first the family did not agree to do this job. In fact, we have to come forward in such a challenging profession. We have to break the barrier. However, over the time period, the family accepted."
The only challenge for our women working on street is toilet management. Although there will be some adversity, we are committed to fulfilling our responsibilities, she added.  
The 'Women Police Network' was launched in 2006 with the objective of solving various problems of women police, enhancing leadership and efficiency. The International Conference of Women Police was held in Bangladesh in 2012. Through this conference, the role of women police in Bangladesh has been appreciated in the international arena as well.
Since 1989, police members have been taking part in UN peacekeeping operations along with other forces. According to the latest data this year, 156 female police members have served in UN missions.
Special Branch (SB) Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Amena Bagum told The New Nation that "When I work, I don't worry about men or women. I see myself as a police officer. We all are colleagues. I judge the work as work. And I try to build our team spirit wherever I go. The work prevails there."
In fact, about 7 percent work forces in the police are females. So, it is not visible. We want to make women more visible, she said.  
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told the reporter in different program that the position of women in the police is getting stronger day by day. The government is working to ensure women's empowerment, equal rights and security. As part of this, initiatives have been taken to increase the number of women in the police.

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