Bangladesh police have launched the Women Police Award for the first time in the country to recognise exemplary female police officers.
Inspector General of Police AKM Sahidul Haque has introduced the award, and this year it will be conferred on 33 female police officers in six categories. The prize includes a crest, certificate and Tk10,000.
The names of the awardees, however, have yet to be disclosed.
Deputy inspector general of police headquarters Mili Biswas made the announcement at a press conference in her office around 1pm on Wednesday.
She is also the president of Bangladesh Women Police Network.
The categories are Bangladesh Police Women Leadership Award, Excellence in Action, Medal of Courage, Community Service, Peace-keeping Mission Special Honour Award and Entrepreneur Women Organise of the Year Award.
These awards will be presented in a programme at Bashundhara Convention Centre on March 31, where Speaker of the Parliament Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury is expected to attend as chief guest, and the home minister and state minister of women affairs are the special guests.
According to the police headquarters database, there are 8,824 female officers in the Bangladesh police force.
Women have been recruited to Bangladesh police since 1974, when six female constables were appointed to Detective Branch. Later on, female officials were appointed to other sections.
“At present, women hold various positions in the force, from additional inspector general to constable,” said DIG Mili Biswas.
Female police officers take part in UN missions as well. The first group of female officers were sent to East Timor in 2000, while a full contingent was sent in 2010.
“Female officers now play an important role in the police force. As part of their contribution, police official Elija Sarmin led a parade of officers at Sarda Police academy, while police super Shamsunnahar led a parade at Police Week this year,” added the DIG.
Additional deputy inspector general of Police Headquarters Nazrul Islam and female officials of different wings, among others, also attended the ceremony.