Otse — It is important to continuously develop and empower women police officers to enable them to contribute more to development, says Botswana Police Service’s (BPS) Dr Helen Tumediso.
Speaking during a two-day women network national training conference yesterday, the BPS Forensic Science Services director said female officers continued to make a remarkable contribution towards global peace and security.
They also continued to hold strategic positions at both local and international assignments, she said.
“We are in an organisation committed to empowering women as demonstrated by the significant number of women police officers we continue to employ, develop and appoint to leadership positions when the opportunity arises,” said Dr Tumediso.
She said in the past two promotion exercises, women accounted for about 26 per cent of the promotions.
The conference, she explained, was aimed at empowering women with a view to optimising their potential towards the performance of their work, family commitments and social responsibilities.
“Specifically this conference was motivated by a decision of the SARPCCO Chiefs of Police subcommittee extraordinary meeting in 2016 which directed women network champions in member states to identify developmental areas and undertake women empowerment programmes to address the identified needy areas,” she said.
Dr Tumediso said a 2007 Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) meeting resolved to establish a mechanism for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development in tandem with the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women.
“This marked the birth of the Women Network Subcommittee as the third technical organ and a viable platform for enhancing cooperation, coordination, sharing best practices, expertise, skill, challenges and solutions on gender issues within the SARPCCO member states,” she said.
Dr Tumediso said the network was founded under three strategic goals being empowerement of all women in law enforcement agencies, contribute towards combating gender based violence (GBV) and participating in nation building and social responsibility programmes.
One of the main objectives under the women empowerment goal was to develop, deliver and support activities aimed at providing professional mentorship and coaching to women police officers.
Dr Tumediso said the conference paved way for the annual SARPCCO simultaneous operation codenamed ‘BASADI’ X scheduled for later this month.
She also announced the recent establishment of a Gender and Child Protection Branch necessitated by increasing GBV and child abuse incidents and cases.
Director of the new branch, Senior Assistant Commissioner Goitseone Ngono appealed to participants to align their plans to the strategic goals.
Everyone should be committed to pushing the agenda of the women network and reflect on strategic interventions aimed at dealing with GBV, she said.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>