Pakistan needs more policewomen, pleads daily

Indo Asian News Service

Islamabad, May 1 (IANS) A leading Pakistani daily on Monday called for active steps to dramatically increase the number of women in police force, now pegged at a poor 2 per cent of the total.

The time has come to overcome the "appalling gender imbalance" with "a well-thought-out strategy to recruit and retain women" in police, the Dawn said in an editorial.

According to the National Police Bureau, out of 391,364 police personnel in Pakistan, only 5,731 were women - a ratio of less than 2 per cent.

A region-wise breakdown puts Gilgit-Baltistan, where women make up 3.4 per cent of the police cadre, at the top of the table.

Officials cited cultural norms and institutional apathy towards female recruitment as contributing factors to the problem.

The daily quoted officials as saying that though the overall ratio had gone up since last year when it was less than 1 per cent, women "should comprise at least 10 per cent of the police force".

It said that women entering the force also need role models - "in other words, they need to see female personnel serving in senior positions. That would also do the policemen some good".