Gender training for FSM police

By Netani Rika

POHNPEI police recruits have been trained in the areas of gender, violence against women and human rights.

The head of Pohnpei Police, Johnny Santos, said the training was ground breaking and had been carried out by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre.

About 50 recruits took part in the training under Centre Coordinator, Shamima Ali.

Santos – who implemented the training after being trained himself – described the course as crucial for law enforcement officers in the Federated States of Micronesia.

“This is a very important subject for me – all of us commissioners from the states have undergone this training,” Santos said.

“I knew this was a very important opportunity. I learned so much from this training and I know how good it is. I learnt about how women wake up in the morning and starts work straight away. She cooks, looks after the kids and cleans all day and we go to the office or to work and we think that all she does is stay home and does nothing.

“We have to stop this type of thinking. We need to look at how we treat our wives at home and ask ourselves if this is right?”

Ali congratulated Santos on his initiative to take the training to Pohnpei.

A quick survey of the recruits found that about 90 per cent had very limited knowledge on gender, violence against women and human rights.

“That’s perfect because it’s a sign that this training will be useful to you in your personal lives and police work,” Ali said.

Santos said human rights abuse would not be tolerated on the force.

“If any of my male officers mistreat my female officers – out the door,” Santos said.

“After this course, you will go home and look at your wife and value and respect her more. That’s what happened to me.”

The training is being supported by the Australian Federal Police’s Pacific Police Development Programme.

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