Policing Women Officers

Policing:Women Officers

Policing:Women Officers

Thenature of the work of the law enforcement and the traditionalperception of gender roles has limited the ability of women to jointhe police force. Many women have been willing to work as policeofficers, but a few of those who succeed to join the law enforcementdepartment receive a hostile reception by their male counterparts.The first woman, Alice Stebbin, worked as a recognized police officerin Los Angeles in 1910 (National Center for Women and Policing,2016). Between independence and 1910, women who joined the policedepartment worked as social workers.

TheWorld War II opened a new opportunity for more women to be employedas police officers, since men were recruited as the military officersand sent to work outside the country (NCWP, 2016). However, theirability to work efficiently was still undermined. They were requiredto engage in auxiliary work or help the male police officers. Womenhave been fighting for their recognition as competent police officerssince the 1915 when the International Policewomen’s Association wasestablished (NCWP, 2016). However, their success in changing theperception of the male dominated administrators in the policedepartments has been hampered by the fact that they are not allowedto hold demonstrations like other civil rights movements.

Thepassage of the Civil Rights Act in the year 1964 was a majorbreakthrough, since employers were no longer allowed to discriminateagainst potential employees on the basis of their demographicfeatures (Eisenberg, 2016). A combination of the efforts made by thewomen’s association and the protection provided by the civil rightslaws increased the percentage of women in the police force to twopercent in 1970 and nine percent by 1991 (Raffel, 2016). Theirpercentage had reached 15 % by the year 2016 (Eisenberg, 2016).Although the increase in the proportion of women in the policedepartments has increased over the years, a perception that theycannot be as effective as their male counterparts has not changedcompletely.

Inconclusion, the perception of gender role has limited the capacity ofwomen to serve as police officers. However, the formulation of thecivil rights laws has given them an opportunity to join the lawenforcement department.


Eisenberg,A. (2016). Read about women in law enforcement. AllStar Directories, Inc.Retrieved September 3, 2016, fromhttp://www.allcriminaljusticeschools.com/law-enforcement/women-in-law-enforcement/

NationalCenter of Women and Policing (2016). A history of women in policing.FeministMajority Foundation’s National Center for Women and Policing.Retrieved September 3, 2016, fromhttp://womenandpolicing.com/history/historytext.htm

Raffel,B. (2016). Femalepolice officers in the United States.Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.