Women in police training - Poliisimuseo
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Women in police training
Female police officers first joined ranks in the early 20th century, when women were recruited mostly to take care of women and children who had fallen in the bad ways. Their tasks were closer to those of a modern social worker than a police officer’s, and in many towns their title was “carer”.
Police training for women was not systematically organized. For several decades, the number, pay and opportunities for training and career advancement in the police organization remained small.
Same training for female and male police officers
From the 1970s, the position of female police officers became increasingly a question of equality. Women were given an equal right to apply for police training in 1974. This meant that a special permission was no longer required. As a result, separate courses for policewomen were no longer organized, but women and men were completed identical police training. Entry exams made it possible for an increasing number of women to join the police force.
Owing to the training reform, almost all positions within the police force became gradually available for women.
Even though the number of women in police training remains smaller than that of men, and they do not advance to commanding officer positions as often as men do, the change has been significant. Nowadays, a female police officer is a police officer – no longer a policewoman, whose tasks would differ from those of a policeman.
See more about this topic on the article by Julia Jansson and Markus Kari in the book Muodollisesti pätevä? Poliisikoulutus itsenäisessä Suomessa (pages 454–485, in Finnish).