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PSNI responds to criticism of Women's Day event that awards men for helping female officers

A PSNI chief superintendent said that it was “vitally important” for men to support and empower women in the force.

PSNI IWD Source: PSNI

THE POLICE SERVICE of Northern Ireland has responded to criticisms of the organisation’s event for International Women’s Day, where they asked women in the organisation to nominate men who had “supported them in achieving gender parity”. 

A PSNI chief superintendent said that it was “vitally important” for men to support and empower women in the force, which was the idea behind the event.

After the event was announced on social media yesterday, a significant number of people commented that it seemed inappropriate and “misguided” to give awards to men on International Women’s Day.

Others commented to say that they could see the aim of what the PSNI wanted to do, but said that on balance, it jarred with the theme of the day.

Chief Superintendent Emma Bond, Chair of the PSNI’s Women in Policing Association said that they had chosen the International Women’s Day theme of ‘Each for Equal’, and asked officers to nominate male colleagues who “supported them in achieving gender parity”.

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“In previous years, we have used IWD to promote the positive contribution that females within our organisation have played in inspiring others,” Bond said.

Recognising that gender equality is not a female-only issue, that it is everyone’s responsibility, in line with this year’s theme we took the decision to recognise male colleagues who have an important part to play.

“It is vitally important that our male colleagues play their part in empowering, supporting and being positive advocates for their female colleagues.

“Today’s event was seen as providing an opportunity for the Women in Policing Association to recognise those who do that already.”

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