Women in Police Force Mitigate Gender Based Violence in Nepal

June 28, 2017

Peacebuilding and conflict prevention NGO, Saferworld published a report of research findings into the gendered nature of insecurity in communities in different parts of the world. One finding in the report outlines how increasing the number of female police officers in Nepal, was key to dealing with gender based violence (GBV) and domestic violence.

Through the use of Community Security Working Groups (CSWGs), Saferworld helped the communities analyze the causes of, and solutions to their security concerns, including how gender norms might cause or exacerbate the problems. This tactic proved effective in Nepal, where women are severely underrepresented in the security sector at the local level, particularly in remote locations. Because GBV remains a key cause of insecurity, especially for many women and girls, it was essential to establish (through the use of CSWGs) that the lack of female police officers was one of the most important barriers to women and girls reporting cases of violence against them. 

Saferworld developed a theory of change, a series of assumptions to how this could change. First, Saferworld would work with CSWGs to increase their capacity on gender-sensitive approaches and support them to effectively advocate for the deployment of female police officers to their villages. Because the local security providers became under pressure from their communities, they deployed these female police officers at the Village and District Development Committee level. In turn, this meant women were increasingly likely to report GBV cases to the police, because they felt more comfortable reporting to a female officer. 

The report also emphasized some concerns needed to be taken into account when deploying female police officers in locations where there previously had been none, among these the need to create appropriate and safe infrastructure for women to be able to carry out their duties, and ensure that protection policies are in place to prevent GBV within the security organization itself. As a result of Saferworld and CSWGS advocacy, female officers have been appointed in Nepal in Ayodhyanahar in Siraha, Kachanapur in Banke, Singiya in Sunsari district and most recently in Uttarganga in Surkhet district. The report concluded that taking gender sensitive approach (such as that provided in the CSWGs) provided clear benefits in terms of the ability of community security programs to identify and address various forms of GBV, find specific measures to mitigate them, and finally demonstrate reductions in their prevalence.   

Saferworld's Gender and Community Security Report: http://www.saferworld.org.uk/resources/view-resource/1072-gender-and-community-security?utm_source=smartmail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2016+July+e-news

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