Police Awam Saath Saath Program in Pakistan: a milestone in promoting gender equity within law enforcement

F.P. Report

Islamabad: The United States Institute of Peace (USIP), in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy’s Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), proudly announces the successful culmination of the three-year $3.5 million Police Awam Saath Saath Program. This program, aimed at enhancing the recruitment, retention, and empowerment of women police officers in Pakistan, is a milestone in promoting gender equity within law enforcement.

Throughout the event, attendees had access to informative exhibits showcasing the program’s impact on increasing women’s representation in the police force and making policing more citizen-centric. Notable accomplishments of the Police Awam Saath Saath Program include the revision and upgradation of training courses at the National Police Academy, an increase in women’s representation in police force by over 20% in both KP and Balochistan through extensive support and training for women police aspirants, establishment of Women Police Councils, training of 1800 women police officers in Punjab as victim support officers, training of trans-victim support officers from 35 districts in Punjab on trauma-informed policing, and development of gender-sensitive policies and support mechanisms for women officers.

Addressing the audience, USIP’s Country Director, Imran Khan, expressed his satisfaction with the progress made through the program. “There is a pressing need to make substantial strides in women’s empowerment within the policing domain. By empowering women within the police force, we are not only advancing gender equality but also enhancing the overall effectiveness of law enforcement.”

Deputy Chief of Mission Andrew Schofer, representing the U.S. Embassy, reiterated the commitment of the United States to support efforts that promote inclusivity and justice. “To all of Pakistan’s champions of women in policing, the United States stands with you. We will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you to increase the number of female officers, elevate their status, and to champion our common cause of peace, security, and justice for all.”

The event allowed USIP, INL, local partners, various law enforcement agencies, and the Government of Pakistan to share lessons and best practices over the last few years that played a pivotal role in integrating gender perspectives, mainstreaming gender, and enhancing citizen-centric policing.

Through the event, participants exchanged knowledge, strengthened existing partnerships, and paved the way for expanding the footprint of INL-funded USIP programming across civilian law enforcement agencies. Additionally, the event featured video presentations showcasing the inspiring stories of women police officers and their contributions to the community’s safety and security.

At the close-out event, speakers underscored the importance of collaborative efforts in fostering positive change; these efforts involve amplifying the recruitment, retention, and capacity development of women police officers and employing a citizen-centric lens to policing.