Title

Women police officers in Hong Kong : femininity and policing in a gendered organization

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Journal of Comparative Asian Development

Publication Date

12-2013

Volume

12

Issue

3

First Page

489

Last Page

515

Keywords

femininity, gender and organization, Hong Kong Police, Policewomen, women and policing

Abstract

Police work is considered to be a masculine, male-dominated occupation, where studies show that women officers generally tend to play a complementary role. This paper examines how femininity has been articulated in the Hong Kong Police (HKP), which was first established in 1844 and recruited its first female officer in 1949. Early female recruits in the HKP were initially confined to supporting duties, and differential arrangements for male and female officers were commonplace. However, the turning point appeared to have come during the 1967 riots, when a number of female officers took up front-line positions for the first time. After that female officers began to receive training in public order policing, carry firearms, and are today regularly deployed to the front line. Does this development indicate an increasingly inclusive and gender-neutral HKP? Through analysis of documentary and archival materials and in-depth interviews with 13 female police officers who variously served between the 1950s and the present, and using the gendered organization perspective as our framework, we examine the perceived qualities of femininity associated with female officers in the HKP, and discuss whether the changing roles of female officers indicate a more inclusive and gender-neutral police force.

DOI

10.1080/15339114.2013.863565

Print ISSN

15339114

E-ISSN

21505403

Publisher Statement

Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group 2013.

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Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Chan, A. H.-n., & Ho, L. K.-k. (2013). Women police officers in Hong Kong: Femininity and policing in a gendered organization. Journal of Comparative Asian Development, 12(3), 489-515. doi: 10.1080/15339114.2013.863565