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Monday, September 22, 2008

[PA] Jamaica looks to the women of Pittsburgh who rose against police dv wrongs

...The embarrassment to the top brass in the force and in City Hall was the first step to a call for dramatic changes in the Pittsburgh police force. Stories such as these remind us that women must ensure that they have the courage to stand up...

The courage to fight back

Jamaica Gleaner News
Glenda Simms
September 21, 2008
[EXCERPTS] An article written by Garwin Davis, titled 'Nothing unusual - Female cops say sexual harassment prevalent' appeared in the February 12, 2007 edition of The Gleaner... In this report, one female officer from St Mary said "Sexual harassment is very prevalent in the police force"... Also, all those in the non-governmental sector who purport to defend the cause of women must go the extra mile on this matter. Other women in other societies are standing up against the daily indignities against women and children and they have not ceased in their struggle against their unique form of oppression. For instance, the fall 2007 edition of Ms magazine detailed how, in western Pennsylvania, the women community rose up in protest when the Pittsburgh news media reported that three of the four city police officers who were recently promoted had histories of "alleged domestic violence". One had hit his wife but the charges were dropped because she failed to appear in court. Another had struck his daughter, but she dropped the charges after his promotion. The third was not charged even though the screams of his wife were reported by the neighbours. Predictably, the top brass of the Pittsburgh Police Department and the mayor and other power brokers in the City Council tried to defend the promotion of these violent men, but they soon learnt what 'woman power' meant when a coalition of civic and political groups demanded a hearing into the levels of incidents of domestic violence in the police force. The embarrassment to the top brass in the force and in City Hall was the first step to a call for dramatic changes in the Pittsburgh police force. Stories such as these remind us that women must ensure that they have the courage to stand up against every form of gender-based discrimination in all sectors of our various societies... [Link to full article here]

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