The Chief of Gender Affairs at the Liberia National Police (LNP), Sadata Reeves, yesterday warned her colleagues, particularly female officers, to desist from undermining each other, in what she said had hindered their elevation to senior leadership positions.
Reeves, who is also the Assistant Commissioner for police said, “If they (stop underming), it would encourage senior officers to advocate on their behalf at the leadership level.”
“I have noticed that we are our own problem, and only we ourselves can identify our problems and work on them. It is now time for us to work with senior female officers to see how we can encourage them to advocate for us. We don’t have to pull them down,” Assistant Commissioner Reeves said.
She made the assertion yesterday at the opening of a two-day capacity building workshop, organized by the Liberia National Police Women’s Association (LNPWA).
The training which begins today is intended to strengthen the LNPWA and to explore strategies that would ensure gender balance within the LNP.
It is also part of the celebration of the International Women’s Day, under the theme: “Women Rising Beyond Ebola.”
Narrating the history about the formation of the LNPWA, Commissioner Reeves said, it was established in 1994 with the specific objectives of advocating for women, improving their welfare and designing programs that would build their capacity and competency to meet the needs of the LNP.
“Since then,” she said, “the organization has ceased to exist. And it is time for us to come together and strengthen women’s capacity and promote gender mainstreaming for the active participation of all police officers, especially females, in decision making positions.”
In his interjection, acting Police Commissioner, William Mulbah said the LNP was making serious efforts to have 30 percent women representation within the LNP, warning, “We are going to recruit not just any kind of female officer because we want to get 30 percent representation. We are going to select and recruit qualified officers this time.”
He challenged them by saying, “If you want to be on par with your male counterparts, you have to qualify yourself.”
He disclosed that there is presently only 17 percent female representation within the LNP.
According to him, with the help of the United Nations Women and the Ministry of Gender and Development, 150 females have been recruited throughout the country.
“We have currently recruited 150 females and they are expected to enroll at the Liberia Police Training Academy by August of this year,” he said.