RWANDA: Police to Conduct Special Female Officers' Courses

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
The New Times
Central Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Reconstruction and Peacebuilding

Rwanda National Police (RNP) will begin conducting special training for female police officers to promote women participation in security and peace-building, both at the national and international levels.

The Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana, announced this yesterday during the first ever RNP Female Officers' Convention held at Petit Stade in Kigali.

The convention which brought together about 1,000 female officers representatives, was organised as part of the force's process to promote gender equality and enhance women's role in prevention and response to Gender Based Violence (GBV).

The special courses, Gasana noted, will also include those of Formed Police Units (FPUs), the contingents that will be trained specially for peacekeeping missions.

Increasing the number of females in the force and peacekeeping missions comes as part of the fulfillment of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 of 2000, aimed at protecting women and girls during and after armed conflicts, and to fully involve females in conflict prevention, management and resolution, peace building and reconciliation.

Rwanda is one of the few countries that implemented this UN tool, by also establishing Gender desks within security organs.

The country has been a learning centre for other countries seeking to implement the same UN tool.

The UN recently ranked Rwanda as the country with the highest number of female peacekeepers worldwide.

"Nothing is impossible," said Gasana, adding that his institution is committed to fighting discrimination and GBV.

Currently, females comprise of 19 percent of the force with 136 of them commissioned officers, up from 0.9 percent more than a decade ago when the force was established.

The Internal Security Minister, Fazil Musa Harelimana while officially opening the convention, explained that increasing the number of females in service is a government commitment to promote gender equality.

"Fighting GBV is not the work of women alone, but the responsibility of everyone with humanity," Harelimana stated.

He appealed to them to execute their duties with discipline and to be ethical in their profession.

Aloysia Inyumba, the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, commended the RNP for its commitment to the anti GBV campaign.

She explained that gender policy in the country is one of the priority areas provided for by the constitution, Vision 2020 and the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) With 52 percent of the population in the country being female and also comprising 60 percent of people engaged in agricultural production, Inyumba noted that the latter previously played only the reproductive role.

"Women now play three roles; reproductive, community participation and productive roles. You are role models, you should not to be seen as a vulnerable group," Inyumba noted.

The meeting is expected to set the indicators for female police officers' capacity building needs and required institutional adjustments to facilitate improved women's participation and contribution to prevention and response to GBV and police mission in general.