ABUJA— THE Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr Solomon Arase, yesterday, ordered the cancellation of all Police regulations that are discriminatory to women police officers just as he promised to fight all forms of gender-based violence in the country.
The IGP spoke at a stakeholders consultative meeting on improving Police response to sexual and gender-based violence and gender mainstreaming in Abuja.
He said it is morally reprehensible to disallow new female police intakes from marrying until they had spent some years in the force.
Describing the rule that a female police officer has to stay for some years before marriage as very repugnant, the IGP said: “If the men can marry while in the training school, why can’t the women too?”
On gender-based offences, he said the questions that policemen often ask victims are most of the time offensive.
He said: “This has to stop and this is why we are creating a separate technical platform where victims can lodge their complaints for onward transfer to the police investigators.
“A police force that cannot respond to the needs of the public that they serve is a failure.”
The Force’s Gender Advisor, ACP Olabisi Kolawole, who organized the event, said the force recognizes the negative impact of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and other vices on the society.
She noted that the achievement of gender parity in the force is a task that must done, adding that all police commands and formations now have gender desks to ensure that police women are not unduly victimized.
In her goodwill message, the UN Women Country Representative, Dr. Grace Ongile, reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations to working with the force to curb gender-based violence.
Also speaking, Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation, Mrs Kemi Okeyondo, expressed delight that gone were the days when police women were only used as ushers during events, adding: “Today, they have taken up more professional roles.”