Essay about Discrimination of Women in the Police Force

Essay about Discrimination of Women in the Police Force

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Americans think that they have come a long way since a gap of equality between men and women existed. Because of this progress, many people make the assumption that there is no inequality left in the United States and women have the same opportunities as men. Yes, it is true that the American society has come from one of inequality to that one that is more equal. Yes Americans have come a long way, but unfortunately women are still not equal to their male counterparts. This inequality towards women is evident within several different aspects in life, ranging from politics, gender roles, marriage, society as a whole and, especially, women in the Police Force. The history of women in the criminal justice system as police officers has been governed by one widely held stereotype: that being a police officer is only a man’s job.
According to Mary E. Hamilton, author of Police in America, the history of policewomen began on September 12, 1910, as a woman by the name of Alice Stebbins Wells became the first sworn policewoman in Los Angeles (Hamilton). Alice Stebbins Wells saw a need for a woman in police work and gathered the signatures of many citizens on a petition; and presented it to the City Council. Instead of working on the streets with crime, her duties included enforcing laws which concerned dance halls, skating rinks, penny arcades, movie theaters and other places of recreation attended by women and children. As many are aware, this is not a police officer's typical job and exemplifies that a female officer was not taken seriously. According to Mary E. Hamilton, Wells founded the International Association of Women Police, in 1915, which continues to provide a place for exchanging ideas and encouraging the use of women in impo...


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...ed with on a day to day basis. The discrimination of women has by no means been eliminated since Alice Stebbins Wells, but it is continuing to improve with each passing day.

Works Cited
"Bringing a Women's Rights Perspective to Law Enforcement." United Nations Development Fund for Women. 2003. Web. 24 Nov 2009. .

Hamilton, Mary. “Police in America.” Arno Press & The New York Times. New York, 1971. Web. 23 Nov 2009.

Heidensohn, Frances. “Women in Control?” The Role of Women in Law Enforcement. Clarendon Press, Oxford. 1999. Web. 27 Nov 2009.

"The National Center for Women & Policing." The Feminist Majority Foundation. 9 December 2005. Web. 24 Nov 2009. .

"Women in Federal Law Enforcement." 1999-2005. WIFLE. 2005. Web. 23 Nov 2009.

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