Law enforcement

Since women started joining law enforcement, their major challenge has always been due to the fact that the society has preconceived perceptions of the capabilities of women based on their physical weaknesses, emotions and passiveness. There have been mixed reactions towards policewomen. Some people are of the view that women should not be exposed to such dangerous work of policing, while others are of the view that policewomen command the same as authority policemen.

Some view the involvement of women in law enforcement as exposing them to degradation (Heidensohn, 1995). Although one may argue that there are some truths in these societal perceptions, the truth is that policewomen have over the years proved that they are capable of discharging their duties as effectively as their male counterparts if not better. Marginalization in appointment in decision making levels coupled with negative male attitudes tends to discourage many policewomen give up policing at some point in their careers.

In 2002, a survey to determine the number of women in the justice system of the United Kingdom found that women are still given low-ran king jobs in the police force. The highest number of women officers was at the constable level representing 20 % of the total staff on that level, 11% were on a sergeant’s level, while 8% worked as inspectors and chief inspectors. Only 7% percent of women worked as superintendents. Of the entire police force in the UK, only 18% were women. The situation is not very different in the United States. Source: homeoffice. gov.

uk Police departments in the United States for the past 30 years are legally required to hire without gender or racial discrimination. However, it is still evident that women in the police force still face numerous challenges despite their struggle and determination. In 1996, only 1. 4 % of policewomen were represented in the top echelons of the force, 2. 5% were lieutenants, 3. 7% were sergeants and only 4% were above the Captain’s rank (Price 1996). Weaknesses It is widely acknowledged that policewomen are not physically strong as the policemen.

As such, criminals may even challenge the policewoman’s authority. Policewomen also find that the working hours conflicts with their family responsibilities. Policewomen who have families have to balance their duties as mothers, wives and policing which is quite taxing. ADJUDICATION (COURTS) Since 1684, when Margaret Brent was approved to practice in the justice system in Colonial Maryland, there has been a steady increase of women in the legal professional. Luckily, for them, there was not much opposition to women joining the legal profession as was common in other professions.

This was partially because most women only practiced family and probate law. Education reforms in the past centuries has continued to encourage women to join the legal profession for the purposes of providing legal assistance to their fellow women who could not afford the much needed legal assistance. In the nineteenth century there was an increased number of women studying and practicing law. This was mainly because the education system in the United States had undergone a revolution which led to more women attaining college education.

Those who choose to pursue careers in law did so successfully and before 1900, there were 39 women lawyers (Feinman, 1994). Most of them were privately trained by their husbands or fathers, as there was no requirement for professional training back then. Upon the demand that lawyers be professionally trained, women adhered to the call and among the first law graduate notables are Ada keplev and Phoebe Couzens who graduated in 1869 and 1871 respectively (Feinman, 1994).

Today, women work as lawyers, judges, litigants or law academics. Some people argue that women working in the legal profession had it easier than other women seeking equality in other professions. Although there was no direct opposition from the male lawyers, they may have put obstacles along the women’s paths with the objective of keeping the women professionals away from the rewards of the job such as power, wealth and status (Feinman 1994).