Women officers under the Rwanda National Police (RNP) have commended the Government’s decision to deploy women officers to areas that are closer to their families.
Speaking at the sidelines of the 9th Police Women Convention yesterday, Assistant Commissioner of Police; Teddy Ruyenzi told The New Times that the decision; which was recommended at one of their previous conventions, had significantly improved the productivity of the female officers.
“Most women used to serve far away from their homes and many found this challenging.
“This is a very big step in helping policewomen deliver on their duties because it was stressful having to follow up on domestic issues while trying to deliver on your duties. We are very happy about the change,” she said.
About 90 per cent of the policewomen who wanted to be near their families have so far had their wish granted, she said.
Ruyenzi is the contigent commander of a female-only Formed Police Unit of RNP that will soon be deployed for a peacekeeping mission.
She said that this policy has helped boost the number of women joining the police force.
Today, women make 21 per cent of the entire Force according to official figures.
The policewomen meet annually to discuss challenges they experienced the previous year, share experiences and come up with recommendations which are delivered to police leadership for changes to be considered if need be.
“We give our superiors these recommendations so that they can help us tweak some areas so that we can perform better, encourage other women who may be interested in joining the police to do so while at the same time promoting gender equality,” he said.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police for Administration and Personnel, Juvenal Marizamunda, told those in attendance that a gender policy for the Force had been given the attention it deserves to enable both women and men to serve to the best of their ability.
“We believe that empowering women and recognising their talents is fundamental in our policing journey.
The One UN Resident Coordinator, Fode Ndiaye, said that just as it is culturally believed that women are the heart of the family, if their gifts and talents were to be put to good use, there would be lots of value addition.
“In terms of numbers, women represent 52 per cent of the population of Rwanda, hence any intervention excluding them would definitely lead to a deficient outcome. It is unlikely that the sustainable development and economic transformation can be achieved if women were left behind,” he said.
He commended the role of the female officers in peace support operations, especially in combating gender based violence and other forms of domestic violence.
Rwanda is currently the second largest contributor of female police peacekeepers. As of February, Rwanda was ranked the third largest overall contributor of police and military peacekeepers, globally.