Almost 5,000 women are part of the Ecuadorean police force, a number officials hope will nearly double by 2017.
According to official sources, at present 4,822 of the 55,600-strong force are women, and numbers are growing each day.
“We live in a time in which it would be unthinkable not to have women working in citizen security,” General Diego Mejia Valencia, police commander, told El Telegrafo.
“We need that contingent, as their presence is vital in our services.”
Women were first allowed to join the police force in 1983, and now there are 212 second-lieutenants across the country, though there are only 10 female corporals, and still no generals.
By 2017, the police force aims to have recruited 8,000 women into the force, and officials are pushing for women to fill the highest ranks.
“For the next year the current corporals will be evaluated to determine who will rise to the superior grade, between them we have six women who at the moment carry out important duties of direction in our organization, so I am almost certain that we will have our first female generals,” Mejia Valencia added.
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Coronel Gabriela Gomez de la Torre, among the highest ranked women in the Ecuadorean police force, graduated from the police academy in 1987 with 26 other women, many of whom have not made it to her grade.
“On the path they were held up more by family issues, because they married. In my case, fortunately, my husband and kids have supported me to continue with my vocation,” she told El Telegrafo.
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