ISLAMABAD (PR) - Though the induction and presence of women police officials in the country has become a norm rather than exception, however, the public perception of these women police personnel is overshadowed by the overall image of the police department.

This was one of the outcomes that emerged from the survey conducted by Individualland, a non-partisan consultancy and the Royal Norwegian Embassy.

The survey launched in six major cities of Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar and Gilgit was titled “Women Police as Change Agents and Gender Based Police Reforms.” The survey is an attempt towards showcasing and recognizing the work of women police personnel, as well as highlighting the issues and challenges they are confronted with.

As a part of this effort a public perception survey was conducted through a questionnaire with a total number of 646 respondents from the mentioned areas. The objective of this survey was to determine the general image, issues and challenges of women employed in the police department, through the understanding of the general public. The report will be officially launched in the month of May this year.

The survey has been conducted with the goal to gauge the public perception regarding the presence and participation of women in police department. It has been learnt that although there is a realization for the requirement of female police personnel for a more gender responsive police, but the overall societal restrictions and the dire image of the police create hurdles.

It has been observed that 341 respondents rejected the notion of allowing and supporting their sisters or daughters, for opting for police as a career. As many as 512 individuals out of 646 respondents had never even interacted with women police. 550 respondents considered male police as a symbol of authority rather than female police.

While understanding the importance of women police, 80 per cent of the respondents were of the view that there is a need of an increase in the number of women police, while 20 per cent of the respondents were averse to this viewpoint. Regarding the suitable choice between male and female police for a woman, when in need of police intervention, 83 per cent of the respondents were of the view that females should ask assistance from women police, while 17% were of the opinion that females should approach male police.