Mak­ing women on the beat a force

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ANNA COX @an­na­cox

EKURHU­LENI is on the drive to em­power women work­ing in the metro po­lice and emer­gency man­age­ment ser­vices de­part­ments.

City man­ager Imo­gen Mas­hazi pledged to help fe­male mem­bers of staff fur­ther their stud­ies so they can oc­cupy se­nior po­si­tions in the depart­ment.

Speak­ing to hun­dreds of women metro po­lice and emer­gency ser­vice of­fi­cers dur­ing the launch of the city man­ager’s uni­formed fe­male of­fi­cers in com­mu­nity safety legacy project in Thokoza, Mas­hazi made it clear that the project was aimed at mo­ti­vat­ing and em­pow­er­ing women of­fi­cers.

“This in­no­va­tion is aimed at mo­ti­vat­ing and cel­e­brat­ing uni­formed of­fi­cers in the city who, de­spite the in­tri­cate na­ture of their work, con­tinue to ded­i­cate them­selves to fight­ing law­less­ness.

“Not only do they risk their lives on a daily ba­sis tak­ing on heart­less and bru­tal crim­i­nals, they con­tinue to en­sure that we are as crime- and law­less­ness-free as pos­si­ble,” Mas­hazi elab­o­rated, adding she would love to see both the metro po­lice and emer­gency ser­vices led by women.

“In show­ing our ap­pre­ci­a­tion of this hard work and ded­i­ca­tion, through this legacy project, the city would be pri­ori­tis­ing their aca­demic ad­vance­ment, cel­e­brat­ing their achieve­ment and tack­ling any bias di­rected at them,” she con­tin­ued.

Mas­hazi said the city would look closely at the issue of ca­reer progression for fe­male of­fi­cers “be­cause it is com­mon knowl­edge that this pro­fes­sion and a num­ber of oth­ers have his­tor­i­cally and con­tinue to be dom­i­nated by males”.

“The crit­i­cal is­sues we will be look­ing at in­clude: do we have enough fe­male of­fi­cers in high po­si­tions? Is the ca­reer progression pro­gramme we have ben­e­fit­ing them? If the an­swer is neg­a­tive, im­me­di­ate action will have to be taken.

“Ed­u­ca­tion is a key that opens all doors. It is a key that will un­lock se­nior posts for our ladies, hence we must en­cour­age them to seize the op­por­tu­nity and fur­ther their stud­ies,” she added.

The city man­ager’s com­mu­nity safety project will run for the next five years. It is aimed at mo­ti­vat­ing and recog­nis­ing the work of the fe­male of­fi­cers while also em­pow­er­ing them to do even bet­ter and oc­cupy se­nior po­si­tions. It fur­ther en­cour­ages em­ploy­ment eq­uity and equal work­ing con­di­tions for both male and fe­male of­fi­cers.

EM­POW­ER­ING: Ekurhu­leni city man­ager Imo­gen Mas­hazi urged women in uni­form to make use of the aca­demic op­por­tu­ni­ties dur­ing the launch of the city man­ager’s uni­formed fe­male of­fi­cers in com­mu­nity safety legacy project in Thokoza.

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