Expert highlights importance of women’s roles in security duties

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Justin Whyatt (centre), trainers and female Cambodian police offciers pose for photos at the start of a five-day workshop on ‘Women in Law Enforcement - Emerging Leaders Programme’ on May 29. POLICE

The National Police urge greater cooperation with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and other countries to enhance the capacity of female police officers in law enforcement.

The move was announced during the opening ceremony of a five-day training course on “Women in Law Enforcement – Emerging Leader Programme”, held in Phnom Penh on May 29, in the presence of Australian ambassador to Cambodia Justin Whyatt.

Deputy National Police chief Ros Chansophea emphasised the importance of attracting experts, talents and resources from “friendly” countries to build effective human resources and strengthen law enforcement for Cambodian women police officers.

“This vision requires strengthening cooperation with the AFP and other foreign allies to empower women police officers and leaders in fulfilling their duties and responsibilities, ensuring national and global safety and security,” she said.

Chansophea further highlighted the need for preparation and cultivating the spirit of responsible action within units and institutions, in accordance with the law and effective regulations. She emphasised the development of human resources and institutional capacity building, particularly by enhancing the capabilities of female armed forces and police in order to ensure the sustainability and effectiveness of law enforcement.

The training workshop aims to increase the capacity, trust and cooperation among female police officers and civil servants working to strengthen law enforcement in Cambodia. It is conducted in collaboration with the AFP, the Transnational Security Centre at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT), and the Mekong-Australia Partnership on Transnational Crime (MAP-TNC).

The MAP-TNC initiative, which has allocated approximately A$30 million (US$19 million) for the years 2021-29, supports Southeast Asian countries in combating transnational crime and strengthening border security. This comprehensive effort promotes cross-border cooperation between Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, assisting their efforts to address serious threats such as drug trafficking, child sexual exploitation and financial crimes.

Thong Mengdavid, a research fellow at the Asian Vision Institute’s Mekong Centre for Strategic Studies, said that empowering women in security mechanisms reflects their motivation and strengthens their role in society. He also underscored that female police officers possess the same abilities, knowledge and skills as their male counterparts and deserve additional capacity building and encouragement.

“Women play an important role in building and maintaining community security and global peace. ASEAN is currently promoting the women’s peace and security [WPS] mechanism, providing opportunities for women to be more actively involved in security and defence,” he added.

Mengdavid further highlighted Cambodia’s need for technical assistance, equipment and support from international partners and “friendly” countries to bolster the capacity of women police officers across the country.