Female Police Officers In Africa: News And Short Review


First female police officers were appointed in the early decades of the 20th century.

Pioneer female officers were usually limited to very small numbers within women police units, working predominantly as assistants to male detectives.

Women remain totally under-represented in most non-democratic nations and emerging democracies

United Nations identified that the employment of women police involves a variety of benefits, which have frequently been denied or underestimated. Equity in policing supports the global mission to create genuine equality and independence for women, including through employment and better delivery of social services.

Prenzler and Sinclair (see Sources) conducted research and found a report “A Gender Policy for the Nigeria Police Force, 2010”. The report noted that the NPF was an extremely sexist organisation, with internal sexism associated with insensitivity to female victims of crime. The report evidenced a commitment to improved equity through an advanced set of recommendations. These included a target of 35% female officers by 2015, revision of training and recruitment criteria, a proactive recruitment campaign and more learning and development programs to improve female officers.

Olabisi Alofe-Kolawole is the first female FPRO (Force Public Relations Officer) in Nigeria was appointed by Solomon Arase.

Olabisi Alofe-Kolawole First Female FPRO in Nigeria

Large number of sources adores the fact that Olabisi Alofe-Kolawole, who advises the police on gender issues, lists one of her role models as Oprah Winfrey.
She also enjoys the music of Korede Bello, Lara George, Beyonce and Don Moen.

But, most importantly, the assistant commissioner of police now has to polish or project the image of the police, a job considered one of the most difficult in Nigeria, if not in the world.

She is well educated, has a Degree in Law from Ogun State University and a Master’s Degree in Police Leadership and Management from University of Leicester, UK.

In South Africa, increasing the number of female police officers remains key to the success of our policing goals. It is key to reducing police brutality and definitely key to better handling the crimes of domestic violence and rape.

In 2012, South African President appointed Riah Phiyega, also known as Mangwashi Victoria Phiyega, as first female Police Commissioner.

Riah Phiyega First Female Police Commissioner in South Africa

Also, Prenzler and Sinclair (see Sources) identified that in Ghana in 2007, women constituted 19.7% of Ghana’s police (4083 of 20,719), with 11.2% at Inspector level and 10.2% at Superintendent level.


Prenzler, T., Sinclair, G., The status of women police officers: An international review, International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice (2013)

News: The Cable