1st Edition

Women in Policing around the World Doing Gender and Policing in a Gendered Organization

By Venessa Garcia Copyright 2021
    200 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    200 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Women in Policing around the World is a historical, legal, political, and social examination of women in policing. The book opens with a comparison of cultural definitions of gender and how this affects women’s work in general and policing specifically. The book then takes the reader through women in policing in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, featuring several countries within the major regions of the world. Major commonalities and differences are identified in the areas of recruitment, training, deployment, promotion, and violence against women.

    Among the key features of this book is a balanced coverage of historical and timely events that led to the current status of women police in their respective countries. The book identifies the commonalities that women police experience throughout the world, relying on the most current research. The book also dedicates coverage of policing violence against women in society as well as within the police organization itself. The author includes tables to allow for national comparisons throughout the book, as well as current and historical photos.

    This book is intended for researchers and students of police culture and women in policing. It does not rely heavily on one country or region, thus allowing for an enlightening international comparison.

    1. The Sociology of Gender

    2. Ideology and Images of Women and Policing

    3. Past and Current Status of Women Police in the Eastern Hemisphere

    4. Past and Current Status of Women Police in the Western Hemisphere

    5. Recruitment, Training, and Promotion of Women in the Gendered Police Organization

    6. Gendered Policing: Working Conditions and Gender-Based Violence

    7. Revisiting the Police Organization: Future Directions


    Venessa Garcia, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at New Jersey City University. She has served as Deputy Editor and Editorial Board Member of Feminist Criminology since 2005. She has published extensively in the area of women in law enforcement, victims of crime, and media and crime. Her latest book is Women Police Across the Globe: Shared Challenges and Successes in the Integration of Women Police Worldwide (2020, edited with Cara Rabe-Hemp).

    "This book is a long-overdue global account of how policing is gendered wherever it occurs as known through myriad studies about women and policing since the 1970s. Garcia takes a bird’s eye view of the facts on the ground, in addition to conducting original research, and shows that gender difference and gender stratification within police forces form the dominant themes in policing and gender across societies. By exploring the police subculture of institutionalized masculinity and its emanation across time and space, she provides a compelling explanation for why women are almost universally underrepresented in police forces, marginalized and rejected by other officers, and often relegated to gender-restricted duties. This is an important work that calls attention to a profession that exhibits more barriers to gender balance than most. Garcia asks police reformers to take seriously comprehensive policies that would achieve gender equity and provide pathways for women in policing through deliberate programs of recruitment, training, mentorship, and protection from sexual harassment. With less than one in ten police officers in the world being non-male on average, this book is a timely clarion call and a significant contribution to police studies."
    Staci Strobl, Professor, Criminal Justice, UW-Platteville

    "Venessa Garcia has produced a remarkable book filling a vacuum in the current literature on women in policing by providing a panoramic account across five continents combining historic, cultural, geo-political and sociological analyses. With meticulous research unearthing previously uncharted details of the origins of women's entry into policing in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America combined with supporting contemporary statistics and enriched by personal interviews with former officers, this is a model of comparative analysis. The framing of the position of women in a wider context, enables a deeper understanding of the police occupational culture not only to explain the subordination of female officers but also providing the template for radical police reform."
    Jennifer Brown, Visiting Professor at Mannheim Centre for Criminology at the London School of Economics and Political Science

    "Women in Policing around the World is a much needed and timely addition to police literature. The police profession is currently under severe assault, based on claims of racism and brutality; however, police organizations across the globe also have a long history of discrimination and sexual harassment against its female employees. This book sheds a very bright light on the decades’ long institutional injustices from the historical as well as sociological perspective up to 2020, where policewomen are still treated as inferior to their male counterparts.

    The way the author approaches the problem, from a global and comparative perspective, addressing issues of prescribed roles that, frequently, drive decisions about recruitment, training and promotions, is extremely compelling and creates a picture of a sisterhood in misery. It is a must read for scholars who focus on gender roles and discrimination, police culture and police ethics but, first and foremost, for all the law enforcement practitioners who aspire to change, in a transformational manner, police organizational cultures regardless of the size or geographic location of their departments."
    Maria (Maki) Haberfeld, Professor of Police Science, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

    "The research Garcia collected reveals that mentoring within the police organization increases job performance, growth, and job satisfaction. In addition to providing promotional opportunities, Garcia emphasizes the necessity of reform in police culture by providing suggestions on how to improve the work conditions of our women in blue around the world. This publication focuses on various aspects of women in law enforcement and women who struggle to find equality within society. It is the most comprehensive work on women police around and is a must-read for anyone in the field."
    Caitlyn Tannu, New Jersey City University, ASC Division on Women and Crime, DivisioNews, Spring 2022 Issue