When is Equality NOT Equality?

This rather charming item appeared in The Fiji Times on line recently:

“THE Fiji Police Force has revealed that in their quest to increase the number of women police officers within the force, they will employ a “gender equality” approach.
Police spokesman Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri told this newspaper yesterday that women would be treated in the same way as men — equal opportunities and equal tests to undergo.
“Some of the key areas the Commissioner of Police is trying to address within the force is that there will be no empire building and that there will be no gender issues,” Insp Sokomuri explained. He added that all women who applied to be recruited for officer duties would receive equal opportunities as the men in the force.
“As well as opportunities, they will also be expected to go through the same levels of fitness tests. We want them to earn their promotions because that is gender equality.”

Clearly I’m all for gender equality and applaud the attitude but I do wonder just how successful it will be, and whether they are setting their women up to fail.

Women are not like men. The Fiji police will have based all its selection procedures and tests on what men do well. I’m not advocating giving women a different selection procedure but about reviewing the whole selection procedure to eliminate any gender bias – to have a gender neutral approach to recruitment. The Fijian inspector is saying women will get on if they are as strong as men, and behave like men. That’s not gender equality...

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Posted on February 12th, 2013 by

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