Patriarchy in the Jamaica Constabulary Force: Its Impact on Gender Equality

Patriarchy in the Jamaica Constabulary Force: Its Impact on Gender Equality

Patriarchy in the Jamaica Constabulary Force: Its Impact on Gender Equality

Patriarchy in the Jamaica Constabulary Force: Its Impact on Gender Equality

Excerpt

There is tension between social citizenship for women and their identification as nurturers and care givers. The entry of women into areas of the public sphere such as the police force and the military is generally perceived as unnatural for this sex, even while women have made strides in areas such as education, mothering and the instruction of the young. In her book, Does Khaki Become You? published in 1983, Cynthia Enloe revealed the contradiction raised in society by women's entry into such areas as the militarized forces. The militarized images of masculinity are entirely consistent with the protector role forced upon men, and reassuring to society that women and children are at home, safely off the streets or away from the battlefront. In the 1990s, the image of the uniformed policewoman, while no longer an unusual sight, still carries with it a certain contradiction. Where and what exactly are women doing in a service which is geared towards protection of citizens, involving danger, and at times requiring the use of violent force?

Very few studies have attempted to examine either the role or potential for women in such male oriented areas as the police force, both in the Caribbean and elsewhere. Gladys Brown-Campbell is one of the first policewomen to have done several courses in women and gender studies at the University of the West Indies. She selected this topic as her Caribbean Studies thesis in the final year of her undergraduate degree.

Her experience in the police force and easier access to interviews provided her with one of the best vantage points from which to carry out this research. Brown-Campbell looks at the position of women in the Jamaican Constabulary Force from the point of view of a persistent patriarchy which, due to the relative newness of the entry of . . .

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