Rwanda National Police holds 12th women convention

On 27 September 2023 at 03:01

The 12th ’Women Police Convention’ opened on Wednesday, September 27, at the Rwanda National Police (RNP), Kacyiru as female officers from different departments and units of the force reflects on gender related matters in policing.

It was held under the theme: "Breaking barriers towards gender equality in professional policing."

The convention provides a platform for the RNP leadership and senior government officials to engage female Police officers in matters pertaining their policing duties, achievements, challenges and way forward towards gender promotion and accomplishment of their tasks.

The Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, while opening the convention, said that previously, when one mentioned the police, military or other security agencies, the first image that came to the mind of many, was men.

Effective government policies and programmes, she added, have given equal opportunities and rights to men and women, and that the RNP has made a positive step where the number of police officers has been increasing, and deployment to peace support operations to implement both local and international gender related protocols.

"A lot has been achieved and the bad attitude of underestimating the abilities of women and girls...is changing," Minister Uwamariya said.

Today, women constitute at least 23 percent of the total RNP force.

"Despite the achievements, we want to continue to increase the role and number of women in maintaining security, to fight against any stereotype that the police is for men, including the fear of girls to participate in the police profession; to discuss what needs to be done so that women and girls further operate professionally without any hindrances," the Minister said, adding that the Women Police Convention is one of the platforms to address any challenges.

She challenged female Police officers to excel in their work and to build a strong and safe Rwandan community as a pillar for sustainable development.

The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Felix Namuhoranye, said that the annual conference is organized in order to promote women and girls working in the police profession and to encourage them to improve in their daily professional responsibilities.

"RNP has made efforts to get more women and girls into the force and to go into decision-making bodies, to implement the national gender policies.

Today, they are station commanders, heads of departments, commissioners and deployed in peacekeeping missions," IGP Namuhoranye said.

Rwanda maintains a female-dominated Formed Police Unit (FPU) contingent under the command of a female officer, serving in the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

The convention will explore key aspects related to the role of women in the context of gender equality in Rwanda; female Police officers in decision-making and command positions; force discipline and the role of female Police officers in enhancing professionalism and discipline; as well as gender equality strategies towards women empowerment.

IGP Namuhoranye urged female officers to always be professional in their duties and to take measures against any unprofessional habits that affects the image of the country and RNP in particular.

Female Police officers have been challenged to excel in their work and to build a strong and safe Rwandan community as a pillar for sustainable development.