- On this day, 47 years ago, women were allowed to be members of the South African police force
- This was the first time they were allowed to enrol as full-time police officers
- However, it took many more years for them to be recognised as equal to their male counterparts
On this day in 1972, policewomen were enlisted as full members of the South African Police force for the first time. Two women were appointed as the first commanders of the women's police division.
More women enrolled over the months and a group started their basic training at the police college in Pretoria on 1 March of the same year.
Although this move may have looked progressive, it was not. Women were still left out of many SAP units. In fact, the women's police department was only allowed to deal with female-related issues.
This took place despite the instruction of the Public Service Commission in 1971 that there should be no discrimination between male and female members.
The women employed by the police force were not utilised for standard police services. They were instead stationed in administration or to support victims.
Only later in the 1970s and at the beginning of the 1980s, were women allowed to work on general police functions such as patrolling, going undercover and doing investigative work.
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