The inspector General of Police Okoth Martin Ochola has pledged to improve and strengthen the working relationship between male officers and their female counterparts.
Ochola made the pledge on Thursday at the opening of a ‘positive masculinity’ high level dialogue at Fairway Hotel in Kampala.
This dialogue, the first of its kind between the Police Force and UN Women, is aimed at combining synergies to promote positive masculinity among male police officers.
The other major objective of the gathering is to end gender discrimination and other violence targeted at the female gender but specifically female officers.
According to Ochola, Gender Based Violence (GBV) is highlighted in the Second National Development Plan (NDP II – 2015/16-2019/20) as a critical human right and an economic concern, with 56 percent of women citing having experienced physical violence by the age of 15 years while 28 percent women aged 15-49 citing having ever experienced sexual violence compared to 9 percent of men in the same age group.
He said that the prevalence, complexity the social acceptance of Gender Based Violence has generated the recognition that the prevention and response to GBV requires broad community participation and particularly the participation of men and boys.
The IGP revealed that he intends for the entire UPF to implement male involvement through the promotion of positive masculinity as a comprehensive and internationally recognized strategy to end all forms of gender discrimination and violence against women officers and create a conducive working environment that promotes a gender responsive policing.
Positive masculinity emphasizes the values of equality, respect and dignity for people of all gender identities.
It also seeks to challenge boys and men to contribute towards more helpful and life-giving ideas about what it means to be men in a productive way.
The positive masculinity campaign is aimed at triggering a countrywide action to engage, sensitize and highlight the responsibilities that male police officers have to unlearn, social norms linked to toxic masculinity and eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls both within the force and the public at large.
As such, Ochola thanked the UN Women for its continued support to the police since 2014, in in areas of Logistical and personnel capacity building, Community awareness on Gender Based Violence (GBV), Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG), and Policy development within UPF.
“Uganda Police will continue to amplify its efforts and make commitment to any intervention that will improve the working relations between male and female officers and between police and the public,” he pledged