NAIROBI, MARCH 7: The Kenya National Police Service marked the International Women’s Day 2014 in style as they marched through the streets of Nairobi in a colorful parade complete with a band and a banner. The parade was preceded by a breakfast session held at Hilton hotel in Nairobi organized by the Office of the Inspector General National Police Service to honor Kenyan women in policing. After the breakfast session, Commandant of the Administration Police College Mr. Omar Shurie representing the Inspector General flagged off a parade that was organized by the Kenya Association of Women in Policing, which was formed last year with the support of UN Women. This was the first time that the police service celebrated the women’s day formally. “It is indeed a historical day. For KAWP, it is our first time to celebrate the International Women’s Day officially. It is our very first event since KAWP was established and it was very successful,” said Ms. Asnath Kithuku, the Vice-Chair of KAWP
Over 100 women and men police officers joined the parade that started from Hilton to Jogoo House in Nairobi. The event was attended by senior police officers, Development partners, UN agencies, and member of the Kenya Association of Women in Policing. UN Women was represented by Zebib Kavuma, Kenya country director, Banu Khan Programme Specialist and Zipporah Musau, Communications Officer.
In his speech during the breakfast session, the Inspector General of Police, Mr David Kimaiyo, said his office will remain open to address any issues affecting female police officers.
“As we celebrate our police women today, my office is working towards gradually implementing the 30 % gender representation rule stipulated in the new Constitution so as to have more women recruited in the police service,”. So far, only 10 per cent of the Kenya’s entire police service are women”.
The Police chief also promised to make the service a good place for women to work in. “As more women join the police, it is necessary to adopt gender-friendly policies to make it conducive for women to serve,” said Mr Kimaiyo in a speech read on his behalf by the Commandant of the Administration Police College Mr. Omar Shurie.
The US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Mr. Isiah Parnell congratulated the Kenya National Police Service for appointing Ms. Grace Kaindi as the Deputy Inspector General who is the senior most policewomen in the service currently. “I commend the Kenya police for supporting Madam Kaindi and hope that with her at the helm, the police service will move more towards gender equality. We the development partners will walk with you towards achieving police reforms and gender equality,” said Mr. Parnell.
The Deputy Director of the Criminal Investigations Department Mr Gideon Kimilu assured the policewomen of his support but also urged them to work hard. “Work hard and we will support you. As the officer in charge of promotions, I will fast-track your promotions but you must work hard and get the necessary training,” said Mr. Kimilu, to the applause of the audience.
Mr. Julius Mugambi, representing the Chair of National Police Service Commission thanked development partners who have supported the service in their reforms. “Representation of women in the police service is a key issue for the Commission. At the moment representation is very poor with about 88.4 percent of all positions in the service being held by men. Some ranks have no women at all, especially in the Administrative Police. I urge women to avail themselves during police recruitments throughout the country,” said Mr. Mugambi.
In their own words …………..
“I love my job. When I joined the police in 1989 we were only 150 women while the men were more than 1,000. Moreover, men and women were not allowd to train together. Things have changed and men and women can now train together and be deployed anywhere. “We appreciate UN Women for supporting us to start the Kenya Association of Women in Policing, because through it we can now better mentor young policewomen joining the service to be better officers,” said Ms. Mboroki.
(Ms. Gatiria Mboroki, Senior Superintendent of Police (KP) and Police Spokesperson)
“Today we celebrated the International Women’s Day with a march-past. The Kenya Association of Women in Policing which is supported by UN Women has helped us to network with our counterparts in other countries, as well as to benchmark. Policewomen can now come forward and speak with one voice. I want to tell young policewomen that we can do it. “I’m happy that through this Association we have the freedom to come out and speak about issues affecting women in policing. KAWP officials will soon organize a recruitment drive in all the counties,” said Ms. Kithuku.
(Ms. Asnath Kithuku, Senior Superintendent of Police (AP) & Vice Chair – Kenya Association of Women in Policing)
“We in the Administration Police now have a strategic plan on gender representation. We plan to recruit more women and also fast-track their promotion so as to position them in managerial positions and to be policy makers. We will give them not just a voice only, but also an ear,” said Mr. Mwinyi.
(Mr. Masood Mwinyi, Senior Superintendent and Administration Police Spokesperson)
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