The deputy Inspector General of Police, Maj Gen Geoffrey Katsigazi Tumusiime, has said female police officers should not expect to be handled like glass, for once someone joins the force, he or she is expected to be ready for all situations at all times.
Maj Gen Tumusiime was responding to a research by Makerere University funded by Else Initiative on the barriers faced by female police officers on UN Peace mission deployments. The report indicates that there has been unfairness in regard to the number of female officers deployed for UN missions. This was based to the fact that only 28 percent of police UN mission deployments since 2004 have been women.
However, Maj Gen Tumusiime said sometimes female police officers are left out because they want to be treated like glass. The second in command of the police force said some police women start showing their weaknesses while on the training.
“We look at performance right from training,” Maj Gen Tumusiime said. “We have one challenge because they say for you are a lady, you must be treated like a glass, from birth to school that ladies should be handled like a glass. If in training you want to be handled like glass, you come out as a glass and we don’t deploy glasses. For us we deploy metals.”
The study that was launched on Thursday at Naguru police headquarters has highlighted gender discrimination among other challenges faced by female police officers, delayed deployments to UN missions even after passing interviews, transport costs involved in attending UN mission interviews in Kampala especially for upcountry officers and sometimes the communication does not reach officers in remote areas.
Maj Gen Tumusiime added that the police force handles violence and that means no one should be handled as a glass. Therefore, he said, it could be that the numbers of female police officers deployed for UN mission are few because they do not measure up.
The Director for Operations, AIGP John Nuwagira, said there was need to double the deployment of women officers for peace and support operations.
Maj Gen Tumusiime said the report’s findings will guide the force in implementation of the gender policies. The report exonerated police in charging police officers in order to be considered for UN mission deployments.