Members from other countries at the meeting. INSET: Margaret Shorter, Global President of IAWP
The Global President of the International Association of Women Police (IAWP), Margaret Shorter has stressed the need for women to be promoted based on their skills and competence.
She said “when you promote and recognize women, you strengthen the fabric of an inclusive society.”
Ms Shorter made this known at the opening of the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Association at the Police Headquarters in Accra.
After 102 years of its formation, the Ghana Police Service has become the second African institution to host the IAWP meeting after the South Africa Police.
IAWP was formed in Los Angeles, California, US in 1915 by the first American police women as an international organization to provide professional development, mentoring, training, networking and recognition for female law enforcement officers and civilian support staff, as well as increase the numbers of women in policing.
The association has members in over 60 countries across the globe.
Justice Margaret Welbourne of the Appeal Court, who represented the Chief Justice, in an address, said Ghanaians are delighted to host IAWP meeting on West African soil.
“It’s no coincidence that this meeting is taking place on the heels of the celebration of international women’s day.
“It is a fitting recognition of the invaluable contribution of women around the globe and a reminder that we can only make the world a better place if we provide opportunities for education and personal development for our young girls and uplift more and more women from the shackles of poverty and deprivation.”
Justice Margaret Welbourne averred that “it’s important that the actions of the police in crime prevention and particularly in the prosecution of crime before the court do not infringe on the rights of criminal suspects or accused persons.
As members of the association, your guiding principles of honesty, fairness and professionalism must at all times dictate your actions,” she added.
The Inspector General of Police, Mr David Asante Apeatu, whose speech was read on his behalf by COP Prosper Agblor, Director General in-charge of Welfare, said in the service women have been able to rise through the ranks to play very important roles in the various units.
“It is worth nothing that by joining the association and attending the annual training conferences, personnel have benefitted enormously from the training offered by world renowned professionals and resource persons and this has impacted positively on their performance on the job.
The Deputy Controller-General of Immigration in-charge of Finance and Administration, Judith Djokoto Lomo, said women should take advantage of opportunities.
Women who have made it to the boardrooms did not get there on a silver platter but through hard work and sacrifice,” she added.
Cop Beatrice Vib Sanziri, President of the Police Ladies Association and the director general in charge of Human Resource Development of the Ghana Police Service, who gave the welcome address on behalf of the Police Administration, said in 1821 unpaid messengers were employed to perform police duties.
“The first batch of 12 women was recruited in the service by the first President Dr Kwame Nkrumah in September 1, 1952 when it became necessary for women to be given the opportunity to serve in the service.
Currently, women constitute 26 percent of the total population of police.
Present were the first female police woman, Rose Asiamah, Deputy Accra Regional Minister, Elizabeth Sackey and other senior police officers, as well as members of the various security agencies and the judiciary.
By Linda Tenyah-Ayettey