An Equity-First Policy for Women Police Around the World: Strategies for change

Anqi Shen, Venessa Garcia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Feminist scholars have debated the issue of integration and specialising of women in policing. Scholars of policing in some nations have argued that culture does not lend itself to the Western definition of integration. Instead, they focus on gender-segregated units or specialised policing for women. Other scholars argue that integration is the road to equality in the workforce. However, research reveals that within all nations, women experience barriers to hiring and promotion and are marginalised within the male dominated organisation. In this article, we argue that equity must be achieved before women police are to obtain equality in the workforce. We examine different models of gender in policing around the world focusing on a few nations: equality model (Australia, Taiwan, UK, and US), equity model (China), hybrid model (India and Brazil), and cultural-specific model (Arabic Gulf countries). Our findings reveal that no nation has made policing a gender equal institution. We thus proposed a gender policy in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals that allows equity to come first to create an equal platform for women in policing, following which gender equality may be achievable. This equity-first gender policy comprises two stages. The first stage involves changes in perceptions, while the second stage involves changes in police policy and practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 Nov 2022


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