POLICE WOMEN BREAKING NEW GROUND
Champions of the
South African Police Service Women’s Network
(from left to right) Provincial Commissioner Mirriam
Deputy National Commissioner Magda Stander,
Divisional Commissioner Linda Mtimkulu and
Deputy National Commissioner Doctor Mala Singh.
The South African Police Service Women’s Network was launched
in October 2003. Since its inception, the network has grown by
leaps and bounds with women taking massive strides within the
organisation in both the support and operational environments.
The initial work of the Women’s Network focused much of its
efforts on empowering women within the organisation and
proactively addressing the concerns of women.
The women in the SAPS soon realised that in order to optimize
their work, they also needed to focus on areas of social
responsibility. This realisation resulted in the Women’s Network
expanding its functioning into various outreach programmes. The
following are examples of the sterling work continuously being
done by women in the SAPS:
- Women have led all-women operational teams under the
auspices of Operation Basadi
- Women embarked on a multitude of charity work to address
social needs related to the HIV/Aids pandemic, poverty,
crime survivor support groups, etc.
Last year saw the launch of the prestige awards for women in
the SAPS in which nine women were named and honoured for their
outstanding achievements in their respective provinces. This
annual event will further motivate our women to aspire to
greater heights in empowering themselves and everyone around
All the passion and energy of these programmes are generated
by the five ladies in top management in the police. They are
Deputy National Commissioners Doctor Mala Singh and Commissioner
Magda Stander, Divisional Commissioners Manoko Nchwe and Linda
Mthimkulu, and Provincial Commissioner Mirriam Mbombo.
The key objectives of the network are to -
- facilitate mentors for women in the SAPS to help them
advance their careers and assist them in becoming fully
participating and contributing partners alongside their male
- provide adequate support to women who are victims of
- advocate career opportunities for all women in all
occupational categories and at all levels in the SAPS in
order to ensure a fully representative workforce
- devise balanced, holistic solutions and structures in
keeping with changing times.
The network functions at national, provincial and station
levels by establishing and revitalising existing gender
structures within the SAPS. It promotes communication network
among women in the SAPS through regular meetings and events.
The network also aims at training mentors at national level
who will then provide support to other women. This process will
eventually be cascaded to all levels of the SAPS.
Having entrenched the women’s network in the SAPS, these
ladies now plan to establish a Police Women’s Network for the
SARPCCO region. In early May this year the first step was taken
to expand the Network across our borders into the SADC & SARPCCO
(Southern African Regional Police Coordinating Committee)
countries. A delegation of four SAPS Commissioners attended the
SARPCCO Police Network Conference where ground-breaking
resolutions were adopted.
The establishment of a regional forum for the Women’s Police
Network, the formulation of a Women’s Police Network Structure
within SARPCCO and reviewing the conditions of service,
including equality in the workplace, rights equality,
productivity and health were some of the critical issues
discussed at the conference.
The five senior female Commissioners who are the champions of
this Network, continuously and passionately strive to improve
the position of women in policing.
With many an event hosted in South Africa over the years,
more and more women are becoming active in the operational
sector. “With the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup steadily
approaching, the women in the SAPS are playing a pivotal role in
the preparations. They have been dedicated to specific
operational roles at national and provincial levels” said Deputy
National Commissioner Mala Singh.
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