05.09.18 / The Royal Police Cadet Academy (RPCA) in Bangkok, Thailand, has said it will only admit male applicants from 2019 onward, refusing to clarify the reason for the change in policy.
Thailand currently employs around 230,000 police officers. Women were only allowed to work in office or support roles until 2009, when they were admitted to officer training programs for the first time. Since then, some 700 women have graduated from the RPCA, the institution’s website said.
Jadet Chaowilai, the director of the Women and Men Progressive Movement rights group, told Reuters the decision marks “a very backwards move for women’s rights and women’s safety in Thailand.”
Chaowilai warned that cases of domestic violence, harassment and sexual assault may all be under-reported if there are no female police officers, “as victims may be embarrassed or reluctant to speak to male officers.” And under Thai law female rape victims must be interviewed by female officers.
Earlier this year, the Royal Thai Police Office said it would only allow men to apply for investigator roles. The organization said the decision was made because women are often forced to leave their posts due to family duties.
Read the full story at Newsweek