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Breaking The Glass Ceiling: A Study of The Recruitment, Enlistment and Performances of Women in the Nigerian Police Force Since 1955

Saheed Balogun Amusa, Opeoluwa Abimbola Balogun


The police force, anywhere in the world, is dominated by men. In Africa where patriarchy is more pronounced and stronger, contemporary police forces in African states are largely male-oriented, male-dominated and male-controlled. The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is not an exception to this universal feature of police forces. However, since the enlistment of women into the NPF in 1955, Nigerian policewomen have continued to demonstrate competence in all areas of police duties that have been open to them. Against this background, the paper employs both primary and secondary documents to re-examine the circumstances that surrounded the recruitment and enlistment of women into the NPF in 1955. It also considers the major aspects of police work in which the pioneer policewomen were engaged and accounts for their performances. The article equally assesses the contemporary performances of women in the NPF in the post-independence period. It is revealed in the paper that the Nigerian Women Party played a major role in advocating the creation of the women section of the NPF. It also shows that the pioneer Nigerian policewomen were able to weather the storm and proved their critics wrong by performing well in special police jobs to which they were assigned in the early years. The essay concludes that the policewomen in Nigeria have not only broken the glass ceiling by attaining the topmost ranks in the NPF such as the Assistant Inspector-General of Police but they have also continued to play great roles in policing Nigeria. This is in spite of the fact that the country is yet to produce a female Inspector-General of Police after sixty-five years of women recruitment and enlistment into the NPF.


Nigeria; Police; Women; Recruitment; Enlistment

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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