The plan aims to ensure higher gender equality within the police force
Bangladesh Policewomen Network (BPWN) Strategic Plan (2021-2023) was launched on Tuesday, seeking to ensure gender equality in the country’s police force and empowerment of female police officials.
The event was jointly organized by UN Women Bangladesh and BPWN at Bangladesh Police Headquarters in Dhaka.
The Strategic Plan aims to ensure higher gender equality within the police force through meaningful participation, representation, contribution, progression, and empowerment of female police officials, as well as safety and security of women and girls.
It will also act as an important steppingstone for Bangladesh Police to fulfil its commitments within the Bangladesh National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security (UNSC resolution 1325), over a 3-year period.
Speaking at the function, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo said male-dominated teams with a few women leaders do not cut it.
"Gender parity across ranks is critical to ensure that the specific needs of women and girls are reflected in decisions at all levels. BPWN leads the way in the Bangladesh Police toward gender equality, reaching zero tolerance for sexual harassment, and raising awareness of gender-based violence,” she said.
Seppo further stressed on the importance of senior level engagement in realizing the Bangladesh National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security.
Inspector General of Police Dr Benazir Ahmed said they are committed to creating an environment conducive for all women police officials and free from all forms of harassment.
Alongside the male police officials playing their part, women police officials need to speak out to ensure their rights, he said.
"This practice of gender responsive policing needs to start from our homes.”
Calling the Strategic Plan a comprehensive and forward-looking guideline, the IGP also said that this will ensure a broader representation of women police officials within the country and help strengthen the vision of gender responsive policing.
The BPWN provides a platform to 15,000 female police officers for professional growth in terms of improved services, trainings, modern healthcare and inclusion of new techniques.
The BPWN strategy was initiated in 2018 with the support from UN Women to strengthen the platform.
Five strategic aims that BPWN will proactively implement within the next three years were presented by Amena Begam, DIG (Protection and Protocol) SB, Bangladesh Police and President of BPWN.
They are: maximize women contribution in Bangladesh police, increase representation of women in Bangladesh Police across all ranks and departments, support the development and progression of women throughout Police, promote appropriate working environment across police, maximize the contribution of the BPWN in supporting Bangladesh Police to provide a gender responsive policing service thereby improving safety and security of women & girls within community.
“The case for diversifying the role for women in policing has never been stronger. It is critical that every police service in the world ensures that women are at the heart of defining and delivering solutions,” said Senior Police Advisor to UN Women Jane Townsley, who has been supporting BPWN since its launch in 2008.
Gitanjali Singh, head of office a.i. of UN Women Bangladesh, and Flora Macula, head of sub office, UN Women Bangladesh, were in attendance.