ISLAMABAD — A five-member Pakistani delegation including four women, has been selected to attend the 9th Australasian Women and Policing Conference taking place this week. Pakistanis have been selected from Customs Intelligence and Investigations, AJK Police, and National Accountability Bureau and are being sponsored the Australia Awards scholarships program. Australian, High Commissioner in Islamabad Ms. Margaret Adamson lauded Pakistani women participation in the Australasian Women and Policing Conference.

“Australia is keen to encourage women into law enforcement professions, including the police forces, given that women’s participation is known to improve responses to violence against women, reduce the reliance on force, and strengthen evidence-based prosecutions,” High Commissioner Adamson said.

High Commissioner Adamson also noted that  Australia and Pakistan law enforcement cooperation has been active since 1984 addressing all crime types and providing extensive capacity development opportunities.

The High Commissioner assured that Australia was committed to strong gender balance in all ranks of law enforcement, including in Australia and Pakistan.

Pakistan Customs’ Assistant Director, Ms Zainab Mahmood speaking on the occasion said that her delegation was pleased to be representing Pakistan at the Conference, and looked forward to sharing policing and broader law enforcement experience with delegates from all over the Asia-Pacific region.

“Pakistan’s delegation to the Conference will help build the body of knowledge around how policing is being improved for women across our region, and how women law enforcement officers are strongly contributing across the profession to the pursuit of justice and the rule of law,” she said.

The Conference under the banner of “Making History: Shaping the Future” is expected to  discuss how law enforcement agencies can respond better to the needs of women in the community and in expanding the numbers of women in this vitally important profession.

According to a media release women remain severely under-represented in police and other law enforcement agencies globally, with only around nine per cent of police officers being women.

According to PPA news agency, the Conference being held in Sydney coincides with New South Wales Police Force’s 100 years of women in policing celebrations.

Local and foreign policy makers, police, fire, ambulance, law enforcement officers and law enforcement management, researchers, human-rights advocates and women’s services and criminal justice practitioners have been encouraged to contribute their papers and recommendations.

The Australasia Conference is confined to law enforcing services but all women and men who have an interest in improving the emergency and policing response to women in communities have also been encouraged to play their roles. It may be recalled that 1st Australasian Women Police Conference was held in Sydney back in July 1996 and sponsored by Australian Federal Police, New South Wales Police Service, AusAid, and the Office of the Status of Women.

-PPA