Women’s role in Yemen’s Police Force

Background paper for Saferworld's Gender, Peace and Security workshop series

In Yemen there are currently few opportunities for women in the police force. While some women work in administration, border services, and counter-terrorism, women officers are not often found at police stations and this can prove challenging for officers who are dealing with female suspects, and female members of the public who may be seeking police assistance. As law enforcement offices internationally are shifting to new methods of policing which emphasise community policing, they are interested to engage women who may be viewed as better communicators, facilitating cooperation and trust in the community and who also respond more effectively to cases of violence against women.

This background paper provides a fuller picture of women police officers’ roles in Yemen and the MENA region, and existing international and national frameworks and policies that can contribute to more representative policing in Yemen. The paper also provides a list of materials which may be useful in developing a deeper understanding of this topic.

Saferworld Yemen has been convening a platform of civil society and government representatives to discuss gender-sensitive security provision in Yemen and roles for women in security sector dialogues and decision making. This paper was produced to be used at a series of workshops bringing together participants to discuss these issues.

Read more about our work on Yemen.
Read more about our work on gender.

“Increasing the number of women in police forces often requires special attention, and there are a number of areas that need to be considered when increasing women’s involvement. ”

Joana Cook