Police reform following a conflict is both complex and demanding, especially in situations where the police themselves have been accused of committing human rights violations. Moreover, reform takes place in a context of fragile social security, continued violence, prolonged infrastructure reconstruction, and slow economic recovery, exacerbating a general lack of trust in society. In these contexts, it is challenging to introduce a gender-sensitive approach to institutional transformation when a male experience of security is prioritized in the design of operational practices of security, systems of accountability, and the composition of the police staff.
Listen to a presentation of this call for papers by Ingrid Nyborg:
What does gender mean in police reform in these difficult contexts? And what is the impact of gender-sensitive police reform on the development of a human rights-respecting police? Gender-sensitive post-conflict police reform includes training and capacity building in human rights and gender – in what ways do these trainings prepare the police to relate to a broader set of gendered insecurities? One aspect to consider is gender relations within the police, where historically undervalued social group members are numerically underrepresented in relation to the traditionally dominant cis-male colleagues. What is the level and capacity of participation of women and LGBT+ persons within the police? Another aspect is how the police understand gender specific vulnerabilities and gender insecurities in their work. How do they respond? And how do they relate to non-binary gendered insecurities, such as those experienced by LBGT+ communities? How might a focus on human security help the police institution to see these insecurities more clearly? This special issue invites original papers on how gender relations are both understood and practiced in police reform processes in post-conflict contexts. Some of the issues which could be addressed include, but are not limited to:
- Linking gendered insecurities in post-conflict contexts with the role of the police
- Exploring gendered power relations within the police - moving beyond binary and numerical approaches, such as the increasing numbers of female police.
- Addressing masculinities and femininities, intersectionality, and non-binary gender understandings in police reform processes
- Gender and community-based policing – innovative policing approaches in difficult contexts
- The complexity of addressing human security – how police link with other institutions (e.g. justice, health, education) and civil society in post-conflict contexts
- Addressing GBV in post-conflict police reform
- Training and capacity-building of police in gender and human rights
To be considered for inclusion in the special issue, manuscripts should be submitted for review to Journal of Human Security by June 1st 2021, and marked with ‘Gender and Policing Special Issue’.