Cyprus ranks in the first places among European countries with the highest number of females in the police force, as 25% of the workforce are women, Assistant Head of Crime Combat Unit and member of the Police Gender equality committee, Kyriaki Lambrianidou, said on Friday.

Lambrianidou unveiled figures from Eurostat during an event, in Nicosia, to mark international women`s day. She said that statistics show that in Europe 18% of the workforce in the police are women and this stands at 25% in Cyprus. Other countries with high concentration of female police officers are Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Estonia.

She also said that in the last two years there is a rise in the women who join the police forces in Europe. It is estimated that there is 1.5 million police officers in Europe, of whom 250,000 are women.

In her address Justice Minister Stephie Dracos said that females represent a high percentage of the force in Cyprus police and they also participate in operations, having crucial roles.

She said that almost 70% of female police officers have operational and staff duties and called on them to carry on their jobs with determination and dedication.

The Minister also said that her priority is to combat gender violence and her Ministry is drafting a bill which harmonizes Cyprus law with the Istanbul Convention.

Police Chief Stelios Papatheodorou said that there are 1,274 female officers in the force, noting that we all have a duty to safeguard their rights, to protect them and to fight for gender equality.

He also noted the fact that female police officers are trying to successfully balance between their families and their careers, adding that the Police is acknowledging the complexity of women`s roles.

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