A cross-national study of female police officers’ perception of gender equality policies


  • Hannah Reiter


This article sets out to explore how gender equality legislation and policies are perceived by police officers and particularly the reasons for any negative reception among female officers. The findings presented in this article are drawn from a cross-national study on female police officers’ reception and perception of gender equality policies in Austria and England & Wales. Although the specific implementation of legal equality measures and frameworks differ between the two countries, the same rhetorical tools are used against them, with Austrian respondents often following these narratives while respondents from England and Wales tend to neutralise them. Based on the presented results, the article argues that comprehensive inclusion of all people into the police service must not only be built on individual legal measures but must also address the issue of police culture and its ideas in a holistic way, thus breaking old patterns and rethinking them in a sustainable way.