While policing in PNG can be risky, women police officers say working in a male-dominated field is equally as tough and challenging.
Detective Chief Sergeant, Fiona Kakarere, says when it comes to decision making, women officers in the rank and file always feel overpowered by male colleagues.
A leadership training conducted by the UK College of Policing under the Australian Federal Police and Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary partnership will help break the barrier.
Breaking barriers between men and women in a society such as Papua New Guinea, where people see men folk as superior will need more effort.
Most women officers are threatened or being overpowered in decision making by their male counterparts, which affects their line of duty.
Detective Chief Sergeant, Fiona Kakarere, who is an instructor at the Bomana Police College, says the time has come for this kind of mentality to stop, and for male colleagues to respect women officers to make decisions with power and integrity.
“You know coming from our culture and background, we still look up to men. We try to make sure we stand firm in our decisions and be assertive sometimes” says Detective Kakarere.
Detective Kakarere is part of the women police officers from NCD and Highlands Region who attended the week-long police leadership training in Mt Hagen.
The training is aimed at breaking gender barriers in the police force to give a chance and voice to women officers in the rank and file of RPNGC.
Facilitator from the UK College of Policing, Mike Brown, says “we want to give a voice to the female police officers so it breaks the gender inequality in the force and give equal opportunity to female officers that they can lead.”
This is the eighth leadership training offered so far by the AFP and RPNGC partnership to help men and women officers in the rank and file understand each other’s role so they respect each other’s duties, to improve the image of police officers and RPNGC to the public.
“What I’ve learnt here is very important and it has opened my mind, so I will go back and coach or train my students at Bomana Police College” says Detective Kakarere.
The women officers were empowered by the workshop which they say is boosting their morals to make the right choses and decisions in a male dominated field.
By Vasinatta Yama, EM TV – Mt Hagen