The Minister for Internal Security, Sheikh Musa Fazil Harelimana, has challenged female police officers to uphold professionalism and shun anything that might taint the Force’s image.
The minister made the call while presiding over this year’s ‘Police Women Convention’ at the Adventist University of Central Africa (AUCA) in Kigali yesterday.
The 5th convention was held under the theme: “Empowerment of Female Police Officers for Sustainable Development.”
The annual event brings together female police officers to deliberate on issues affecting them.
“There is a time when women were not valued in this country. But for the past two decades, women have regained their dignity thanks to good leadership,” Harelimana told the over 1, 200 female officers at the event.
He commended them for keeping a ‘clean criminal record’ and urged them to uphold discipline.
Most of the police officers involved with illegal acts are male, the minister observed.
He thanked the Force for promoting gender equality.
Currently, female officers comprise about 20 per cent of the Force, up from 14 per cent two years ago. The RNP targets to have 30 per cent of female officers by 2016.
The minister further urged female officers to spearhead the implementation of government policies like ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’ and embrace family planning to give birth to children they can afford to look after.
The Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel K. Gasana, said the Force is on course in implementing gender-related policies, including fighting gender-related crimes.
IGP Gasana said women officers are allowed to operate close to their families and given priority in peacekeeping missions.
He thanked One-UN-Rwanda and other institutions for their continued support, especially in the field of gender.
Lamin M. Manneh, the One UN-Rwanda Resident Coordinator, commended RNP for empowering women and lauded female officers in peacekeeping missions.
Manneh cited Isange One-Stop Centre, which provides free medical, psychological and legal services to gender violence victims, as one of the Force’s major success stories.