LAHORE: Many female officers who joined the police service in recent years say they feel “proud and protected” in this male-dominated society because of the uniform.

Less than 3,000 women are part of the 180,000 strong Punjab police that is the largest law enforcement agency in the country. Most of the women were recruited in the police department on various posts in the last decade.

“This uniform makes us bold and brave,” said Constable Fouzia Bibi, who stands guard among many male colleagues outside the Punjab Assembly building. The lady constable said she never felt “insecure” since she put on police uniform.

“Every woman faces multiple problems once she leaves her house for work in this society. But we feel secure and safe because of this uniform,” Fouzia was of the view.  

Last week, at least 233 female recruits of the 8th Batch passed out of the Chuhng police training college to joint the police service as constables. Among the new recruits were highly-qualified young women having masters and graduation degrees.

Fouzia says she was never harassed by her male colleagues. “If you give shut up call to someone, he will never try to impress you,” she said with a smiling face.

Although the provincial government encouraged females’ recruitment in the police department in recent years, but women officers are not given important field postings.

At least 13 women are serving in the provincial police as Superintends of Police. Similarly, six women are ASPs, 33 DSPs, 30 inspectors, 127 sub inspectors, and over 2100 Lady Constables are part of the police force.

These women are not posted as Station House Officers nor given an opportunity to serve as district police officer in this province.

“This is because they are considered as spineless, and physically weak as compared to their male colleagues,” a lady police officer said, requesting her name not to be mentioned. She said the female officers must be given an “equal opportunity” to excel in the field.

Last year, over one hundred policemen were posted in Lahore police stations as Admin Officers and Investigation Officers on the orders of Capital City Police Officer Muhammad Amin Wains.

During background interviews, several women police officers said the government must encourage female policewomen in Punjab by giving them key posts in the field. “Now, the (police) department has started appointing women on important positions. A woman could also be a very good investigator, a crime fighter, and a station house officer provided she is given an opportunity” another female officer commented.

A police spokeswoman said the “Punjab Police has recruited significant batches of females that not only bring a unique dynamism to policing and crime-solving endeavors but represent organization as an equal opportunity employer.”

Last week, over 200 female recruits passed out of the Chuhng police training college to join the Punjab police force as Lady Constables.

In June 2015, at least 504 women passed out of the Chuhng Police Training College on the completion of their 10-month long training. According to officials, these lady constables were given training and taught courses including elite combat course, computer training, weapon handling, police rules, gender responsibility, and media handling besides other professional courses during their 10 months long training at the college.

Commandant Police Training College DIG Fayyaz Ahmad said that the newly-recruited police women are well-educated. Among these constables, two women have M.Phil, and LLB degrees, 38 have Masters, 237 Bachelors, and 193 are intermediate and 34 have Matriculation certificates.