1st Edition

Women Police in a Changing Society Back Door to Equality

By Mangai Natarajan Copyright 2008

    Offering a fascinating account of the development of women police over the past twenty years, this book refers to the author's extended research in India to examine how the Indian experience demonstrates a valuable alternative to the Anglo-American model; not only for traditional societies but for women police in the West as well. With reference to the establishment in 1992 of all-women units in Tamil Nadu, this unique experiment proved highly successful in enhancing the confidence and professionalism of women officers and ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of the police. At a time when policing is being rethought all over the world, not only in traditional societies, the Tamil Nadu practice illustrates important lessons for western countries that are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain women officers. Natarajan's remarkable book is an important and original contribution to the literature on gendered policing, which to date has concentrated almost exclusively on the US and British experience.

    Part 1 Women Police Worldwide; Chapter 1 Women Police and Societal Change; Chapter 2 Three Decades of Research on Women Police: What Has Been Learned?; Part II Women Police in a Traditional Society; Chapter 3 Women Police in India; Chapter 4 Women Police in Tamil Nadu; Part III Studies of Women Police in Tamil Nadu; Chapter 5 Tamil Nadu Women Police in the 1980s; Chapter 6 Tamil Nadu All Women Police Units'”An Assessment; Chapter 7 Women Police in the Battalions; Part IV Women Policing in a Changing Society; Chapter 8 Reconciling the Needs of the Police, Women Officers, and Tamil Nadu; Chapter 9 Prescriptions for Twenty-first Century Women Policing: Theory, Research, and Policy;


    Mangai Natarajan is Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, and an Associate of the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science at University College London.

    'Guided by her deep respect for the daily challenges faced by women police in Tamil Nadu, Natarajan's brilliant, insightful research reaches far beyond India. This book is a must read for anyone interested in women in policing, no matter where they live or work.' Graeme R. Newman, University at Albany, New York, USA . 'Mangai Natarajan lays out a radical thesis in this important book. She argues that true gender equality in the police does not mean that men and women officers should do the same work. Instead it means that they should be assigned to duties best suited to their skills and interests, and to their lives outside the police force.' Ronald V Clarke, Rutgers University, USA 'Mangai Natarajan’s new book Women Police in a Changing Society: Back Door to Equality is a very welcome and major contribution to the field, particularly in charting the complexities of gender equity policy in policing... Her research charted an evolution in the views of women police in traditional roles towards a preference for greater integration as their experience grew and they became more confident in their ability to carry out the full range of policing duties. She therefore makes a plausible argument for a more gradual approach to the ultimate goal of gender equity in policing depending on the specific circumstances in each policing jurisdiction.' Asian Journal of Criminology