Traffic police women on par with male cops

KATHMANDU: At long last, Nepali women have busted the glass ceiling. Not only have they shown their metier as successful managers and entrepreneurs but have emerged equally competent in fields earlier believed to be male bastions.

According to Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) there are 99 women working as traffic personnel in the Valley and are as competent as their male counterparts.

Pooja Singh, DSP of Nepal Police, said, "Although it's challenging, women have been doing a commendable job." Contrary to the popular notion that women are lenient, they have been found to take strict action against offenders.

Anjali Uprety, who's been with the traffic police for over four years, says, "The moment we don our uniform, a sense of responsibility dawns upon us."

She added, "The advantage of being a female is that the drivers don't get into unnecessary scuffle with us and they don't abuse us verbally like they do to our male counterparts."

However, she claims there is a flipside to being a female. "Sometimes we suffer from acute headache, dizziness, eye-strain due to exhaustion and pollution but that's part and parcel of our job," she says.

A passenger said, "Traffic policewomen perform their duties with a lot more politeness and maintain a proper decorum."

MTPD has been gradually upgrading their office infrastructure in order to create a women-friendly environment like separate barracks with attached toilet for women and a separate eatery stall.

"All the male members treat their female counterparts with respect," said DSP Singh. However, she complained that infrastructure inadequacies were still plaguing the organisation.

SP Rabi Raj Shrestha, chief of MTPD, said the overall performance of traffic policewomen was praise-worthy.