Women police officers seen as 'sexual objects'
FEELING the need to prove themselves, choose between family or career and being talked down to are some of the issues women in the Queensland Police Force are still facing today.
At a women in police forum and awards ceremony, held in Urangan's Mantra hotel yesterday, Assistant Commissioner Tracy Linford in charge of intelligence, counter-terrorism and major events spoke to about 80 police women about life in the force.
She referenced a recent survey of 5000 officers in Victoria.
"Some men feel women are less capable of doing the job as well as them, some men feel women still have more of a responsibility to their families, and some men see women as fair game; as sexual objects," Assist Com Linford told the Chronicle.
"Whilst things have been improved, there are still some pockets within that must be addressed."
Maryborough Acting Sergeant Mel Ryan said she had earned her respect as an officer through her work with the community.
"But everyone has a different story," Act Sgt Ryan said.
"I think it's very important to have continuous support everywhere for police women to do their jobs."
Queensland Police minister Bill Byrne and Assistant Commissioner of the central region Alistair Davidson also attended and spoke at the forum.
The high-ranking officers and minister presented three awards to QPS central region employees who had made a difference to women in the force.
The awards were given to Senior Sergeant Robyn Hanly, Carol Finger and Inspector Marcus Hill.
Minister Byrne said forums like yesterday's were important to bring women from the entire region together.
"The recipients of these awards have been recognised for the various ways they promote women in police," Mr Byrne said.
"This is important, not only for the individuals, but for the entire Queensland Police force to know women are supported and recognised."
He said the ratio of male to female officers in Queensland was about one to five, and the QPS target was an equal amount of men and women by 2026.