Participation of women in supervisory decision-making positions in the Zambia police service: a case study of Lusaka district.
Nasilele, Sindwa, Samuel
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Participation of women in supervisory decision-making positions is a global agenda. Zambia strives towards attaining 50% women representation in decision-making positions by 2020 (SADC, 2005). The implementation of the Police Reform Programme in 1995, and the establishment of the Zambia Police Strategic Development Plan 2001-2006 shows government’s commitment towards ensuring gender equality in the Zambia Police Service (GRZ, 2000; GIDD, 2010). Despite the various efforts undertaken by the Zambian government, very little has been achieved. Women’s participation in supervisory decision-making positions is as low as 12.3% and their population in the police service is at 19.6 percent (Zambia Police Service, 2010). This study aims at examining the participation of women in supervisory decision-making positions in the Zambia Police Service in the case of Lusaka District. The following are the study specific objectives: To assess requirements for women participation in supervisory decision-making positions in the Zambia Police Service; to establish the views of police officers on women participation chances in supervisory decision-making positions in the police service; to identify the factors that prevent women from progressing to supervisory decision-making positions and to establish measures towards promoting women participation in supervisory decision-making positions in the Zambia Police Service. The study applies a mixed method approach of qualitative and quantitative methods with a sample size of 105 comprising of 75 questionnaire based respondents and 30 interview based informants. Simple random and purposive sampling techniques were used by the study. The findings of the study indicate that, women participation in supervisory decision-making positions is still low. Men occupy most of the supervisory decision-making positions in the police stations under review. The study reports that educational levels, commitment to duty, good interpersonal relationship, marital status and political loyalty played a critical role in enhancing promotion opportunities in the Zambia Police Service. Despite low participation of women in supervisory decision-making positions, women still stood a better chance for promotion in the police service. The study further reports that low education, lack of commitment, low confidence and poor attitude towards work are factors affecting promotion of women to supervisory decision-making positions in the Zambia Police Service. Among others, the study recommends that, the government of the republic of Zambia creates a conducive environment for women officers to access education in security related trainings, develop deliberate policy to fight discrimination against women, and develop a deliberate policy to ensure that 50% of the police stations in Zambia are headed by female officers.
The University of Zambia