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Speaker Mst. Shahala Pervin is presently working as Assistant Inspector General (AIG) in Police Headquarters Through a competitive Civil Service process. She joined the Police service in 2003 after completion of her BSS (hons) & MSS in the Political Science from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Mst. Pervin has been an important contributor to previous LEPH conferences regarding women in policing and gender-based violence in Bangladesh.

Mst Pervin will present more detailed findings relating to the following research:

Women in Leadership in the Police Administration of Bangladesh: A Review

Female officers began working in the Bangladesh police in 1974 after the independence in 1971. In 1986, the first female police officer was recruited to the cadre service (Supervisory level) in the Bangladesh police. Recruitment was postponed for women in the supervisory level from 1989 to 1998 in Bangladesh Police Department. Within those ten years, women’s leadership growth within the police force was severely stunted and male dominance was entrenched. But women are coming forward in police service in different ranks with their credibility. There are 13402 female police officers out of 200,500 officers, women’s participation in the Bangladesh police department is 7.10%.

Aim of the study

The purpose of the study is to identify the barriers of women leadership in Bangladesh police administration.  factors that help women police develop leadership qualities and recommend standard guidelines to improve the women leadership position in Bangladesh police administration. Finally, the researcher has forwarded some possible ways in which women police officers could appear in decision making and leadership positions. 


The study was conducted on the basis of primary and secondary sources of data. Primary data was collected using a structured questionnaire. Interview was taken from 66 women police personnel from different rank and file to senior level women police from 7 divisions all over the country in 2015. Quantitative and Qualitative types were incorporated. Sample respondents were selected using systematic random sampling method and where placed questionnaires containing open ended and close ended. New recruitment in Women Police forces from 2015-2019, the addition of new facilities and recent initiatives of the Government have been taken into consideration in the formulation of conclusions. 


The study found that reasons women joined the police service included: pride and prestige 36.36%; job and financial security 21.21%; power 6.06%; family decision 9.09%; and, other reasons 27.27%.

The results found that 18.18% of female participants  preferred working in the field, compared to  81.82% who  preferred to work in desk work. The researchers found that there were many reasons for this preference, including: women like to work 9am to 5pm like other government job; women need not bear extra burden of duties beyond their office time; and, their reluctance to work extra time for policing was because they provide more time bearing and caring for their children, husband, and relatives at home because in Bangladesh child care centers are not available for working women. Findings indicated that 60 out of 66 respondents stated that they did not get any chance to work at field level in their policing career. 

In relation to impediments to become a leader in their posting place, 36.36% of respondents referred to a patriarchy mentality, 24.24% said they lacked a mentor, 15.15% said being a woman, 18.18% said it was their own responsibility or personal limitations, and 6.06% said a patriarchy mentality of women police.

All 66 respondents believe that the Team Leader style is the best form of leadership model.  Despite participants believing it is the best, they face difficulties implementing it as the Bangladesh Police Department follows British Policing models in chain of command.  

In relation to factors that help women develop leadership qualities, 18.1% of participants believed training was a major factor, 21.2% responded with mind set change of male police officers, 24.24% believe that support must come from senior management to influence change, 36.26% of respondents believe more self motivation would help women develop leadership qualities.

Recommendations to support women in policing

  1. Posting policy by Rotation
  2. Create database
  3. Change patriarchy mindset 
  4. Create women friendly working environment
  5. Training and mentoring should be specific for women police officers
  6. Women police should have self-confidence, self-motivation and self-esteem 


Mst. Shahala Pervin is presently working as Assistant Inspector General (AIG) in Police Headquarters Through a competitive Civil Service process, She joined the Police service in 2003 after completion of her BSS (hons) & MSS in the Political Science from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Throughout her 16 year career with the Bangladesh Police, She has been recognized for recipient of Bangladesh Police Women Leadership Award 2017 and IGP’S Exemplary Good Services Badge 2018 for her outstanding work in policing, human resource management and networking -a true milestone on the empowerment of women in the Bangladesh Police service. She also conducts training of police officers and other personnel on the diversity of topics on Gender issue, Woman Empowerment, Violence against women (VAW), the Woman Rights, and Investigation of women oppression cases, terrorism, combating human trafficking etc.

She has presented on a range of topics in different formats all over the world including “Combating human trafficking perspective Bangladesh” in 49th International Association of Women Police Conference (IAWP) Lexington, USA in 2011; Violence Against Women Perspective Bangladesh” in 50th International Association of Women Police Conference in Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada in 2012; the1st &2nd Asian Women Police Conference in Bangladesh & java, Indonesia in 2012 &2014;. “Women in policing” in Commonwealth Human rights initiatives in Nepal in 2013; Barriers of women leadership in Bangladesh Police Administration” in International  Association of Women Police Conference in Barcelona, Spain in  2016 & International  Women &Law Enforcement Conference in Cairns, Australia in  2017 .  She presented papers in IAWP Conference Calgary, Canada 2018 and Law Enforcement and Public Health (LEPH) Conference in Toronto University Canada 2018.She has presented paper on “Combating human trafficking :Prosecution, Prevention &Protection perspective Bangladesh” in International Chief of Police Conference(IACP) in Chicago, USA in 2019 where USA president Donald Trump was the chief guest .

Superintendent of Police  Shahala Pervin was first assigned to the district police as Assistant Superintendent of Police, upon completion of her rigorous  basic training in 2005.  From 2005-2009, she worked as an Assistant Superintendent of Police in Range Reserve Force (RRF),Dhaka as a second in command for a work force of more than six hundreds police personal. She also had the opportunity to serve in Criminal Investigation Department (CID) the prestigious institutions of Bangladesh police for over the decades. She had been promoted as Additional Superintendent of Police in 2010.

She worked in Traffic and Driving School, Dhaka as Additional Superintendent of Police (Training). She rendered her responsibility as a course co-coordinator of pre-deployment training of female peacekeeper before deploying UN peacekeeping mission. She conducted a lots of sessions on human rights, how can address sexual harassment, Peace and conflict resolution, Investigation procedure of Women oppression cases, traffic management etc. She instructed to the field instructor on Un-armed combat training to up going in Haiti and Congo female peacekeepers. Ensuring the safety and security of the road user of this community was her primary focus during this assignment.  After serving for five years in the traffic & driving police unit, she was promoted as Superintendent of Police (SP) in 2016. She rendered her service as Superintendent of Police (Administration & Finance) in Railway Police Headquarters for three years & six months.

She has completed M-Phil on Barriers of Women Leadership in Bangladesh Police Administration in the university of Dhaka. Now She is a  PhD fellow  in the university of Dhaka. She is a country focal point of  Law Enforcement And HIV Network (LEAHN), Bangladesh. She loves to travel . She visited USA, Canada. UK. Spain, France, Swizerland, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Nepal, Saudia Arab, Indonesia, Hongkong, China, Vietnam, United Arab Emirats (UAE)

Superintendent Shahala Pervin passion is in upholding the dignity and professionalism of Bangladesh police women. Networking is very important to her. She serves as an initial member of the Bangladesh Police Women’s Networking (BPWN) Organizing Committee. She is an incumbent   Joint Secretary of Bangladesh Police Women`s Network (BPWN). She is lifetime member of IAWP. She is involved in mentoring women police in her organization. She serves as a willing role model for other women interested in joining the police service. She aspires to emerge as a change agent for the distressed women and children in Bangladesh. She is married and mother of one son and one daughter.

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