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Bangladesh: ICITAP-Supported Police Leader Presents at International Association of Women Police Conference

On November 3, the International Association of Women Police (IAWP) presented the first of two virtual sessions titled Perspective of Women at the Center Stage of Policing from Different Countries. These virtual sessions were presented in place of the annual in-person conference that was cancelled due to COVID-19. Over 260 participants from all over the world logged in to the virtual Zoom conference to listen to the four presenters talking about their individual policing perspectives from their countries and their personal experiences. One of the four chosen speakers was a female Commander of the Bangladesh Police. Her presentation centered on the progress the Bangladesh police women have made over the last ten years. She spoke about the contributions of the Prime Minister to women empowerment in the country and that she is the symbol of women in Bangladesh being role models to overcome challenges. Commander Begum gave a short history of police women in the Bangladesh police service. She said police women were first recruited in 1974 into the Special Branch, in 1976 in the Metropolitan Police and in 1986 in the Cadre Service. The present strength of women police is at 13,004 women officers from Constable to Additional Deputy Inspector General. She spoke of the roles the Bangladesh police women have in country and the international deployments. The Police Commander said that 180 Bangladesh policewomen are currently working a UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Congo in an all-female Formed Police Unit (FPU) of Bangladesh Police and serving with integrity and professionalism. There have been challenges for the police women such as balancing personal and professional life, patriarchal attitude and social stigma, other having lack of confidence they can do the job, and lack of women in the policy making process. She presented initiatives to reach the heart of policing including a partnership with the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP), the formation of the Bangladesh Police Women’s Network (BPWN) website and Facebook page and the BPWN helpline to connect policewomen. The Bangladesh Police Women are an affiliated police organization member of the IAWP.

Updated August 11, 2023