Telangana police force: One-third posts for women in 2016

The facilities are less favourable for women in district police stations.

Hyderabad: The TS police recruitment this year will be unique with the government reserving a third of the posts for women. The decision is meant to address the serious gender imbalance in the force.

However, right from the buildings to dress, gear and other facilities, everything is designed for men and not gender-sensitive. The facilities are less favourable for women in district police stations.

According to sources in the state police headquarters, 98 per cent of the state’s police stations do not have separate washrooms and dressing rooms for women cops. There are no specific barracks for them. There is no system to address their special needs.

In special meetings convened on January 9 in the police commissioner’s office, women cops expressed their grievances. They wanted separate washrooms and dressing rooms, these cops told the additional commissioner of police Swathi Lakra.

“We are forced to use common washrooms. There is health risk in using these unhygienic washrooms. It is impossible for women to change their dress in police station,” said a woman SI.

Another problem woman cops face is the lack of facilities for their special needs. “Women on duty during pregnancy or their monthly period have to suffer. There is no place to dispose of sanitary pads and no place to take rest,” said a woman head constable.

In a survey conducted among women police personnel in the districts, most respondents sought drastic improvements in the existing conditions. They asked for separate barracks.

Many were not comfortable with the anti-riot and bullet-proof gear they wore. The uniform issued by the department is also uncomfortable.

In Hyderabad and Cyberabad, only a few renovated stations like the one in Abids have separate facilities for women cops.

IPS women officials face veiled misogyny
Gender bias against women IPS officials in TS police is played out in a different way. Their postings get delayed and there are high chances of them getting bullied by male officers. They often get transferred to insignificant posts in administrative wings, or are compelled to go on deputation.

Women officers also face direct and indirect misogyny from their male superiors. “Once, a very senior official told me that he could not see me as a police officer. He said that I reminded him of a woman who cooks in the kitchen,” said a woman IPS officer.

The matter of postings is difficult for women officers. “In order to get important postings on time, one should either have a husband or a father who is in the IPS or IAS, or have good political connections,” said another senior woman officer.

Women officers who perform well are featured in the media, but this irks their seniors.

“There is always discouragement from a few officials. Once, a DIG asked me what ‘equation’ I had with reporters. He indicated that I was bribing the media to get coverage,” said a woman IPS official, who had earlier served as a district SP.

Another IPS officer said that she was warned by a higher official against being close to the media.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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