There is a need to break barriers of gender discrimination in the policing profession.

Senior Deputy National Commissioner Lydia Dlamini speaking during the opening of SARPCCO Executive Leadership and Knowledge Management for women Police Officers workshop at Matsapha Police Academy on Wednesday noted that, the breaking of the barriers will ensure that female officers feel part of the policing vocation. She was representing the Acting National Commissioner of Police.

The three day workshop was attended by female officers who are in management senior positions in the different police organisations under the SARPCCO region. She said opportunities such as training for women officers should be maximised in policing. Dlamini noted that gender mainstreaming concept involves creating gender equality through the introduction of gender sensitive practices and norms in all structures and public policy.

The Senior Deputy said there must be transformation in the police services in the SADC region which will ensure that there are more women police officers in senior managerial positions. She said women should be given an opportunity to lead frontline missions such as management of public disorder situations and peace keeping missions.

Dlamini said female police officers can also make it as leaders and commanders in both crime prevention and investigation to turn the tide against crime. She noted that the nature of women is non-violent and they have high morals and good communication skills and having female officers in mainstream policing helps in creating and maintaining strong community relations.

The workshop was described as being crafted to close gaps that hindered women officers especially those at executive level. Some of the topics that were covered during the three day workshop included personal mastery, cybercrime, gender based violence, barriers to women leadership, mentoring and coaching, ethics and good governance. Dlamini also pleaded with the executive officers to be proactive and mentor junior female Police Officers as they were future leaders.

Professor Everjoice Ndove speaking on behalf of the participants said women officers have a meaningful portion to contribute to the policing profession. She said the workshop was an ideal platform for the women officers who are in leadership positions to make a change and improve their managerial styles in order to fight against crime.