Research: Study of Women’s Police Stations in Argentina

Kerry pictured with Superintendent Mabel Christina Rojas, Ministry of Security, Buenos Aries, Argentina (Photo taken by Dr Diego Zysman, a Senior Researcher on the Project)

Professor Kerry Carrington was awarded an ARC Discovery Grant (2018-2020) to study the prevention of gendered violence. As part of that study she will be studying the preventative impact of Women’s Police Stations in Argentina with Partner Investigator – Professor Máximo Sozzo Universidad Nacional de Litoral, Santa Fe, Argentina. Buenos Aries – the Capital of Argentina has 138 Women’s Police Stations that employ over 2300 personnel.

Little is known in the English speaking academy about how societies in the global south have approached the prevention of gendered violence. Brazil was the first country in Latin America to establish women’s only police stations in 1985.  Since then, women’s police stations have been established in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Peru, and Uruguay, and more recently in Sierra Leone, India, Ghana, India, Kosovo, Liberia, the Philippines, South Africa and Uganda. A 2011 United Nations Women evaluation found that women only police stations in Latin America enhanced women’s access to justice and their willingness to report, increased the likelihood of conviction, and enlarged access to a range of other services such as counselling, health, legal, financial and social support. Of those surveyed for the evaluation, 77% in Brazil, 77% in Nicaragua, 64% in Ecuador and 57% in Peru felt that women only police stations had reduced violence against women in their countries (Jubb et al 2010).  Women’s only police stations emerged historically at a time of re-democratisation in Latin America. They were designed to enhance women’s confidence in the criminal justice system, encourage reporting, prevent re-victimization, and send a message to the community that gendered violence was no longer tolerated and men who abuse women will be made accountable.

A more recent study of WPS in Brazil used female homicides as a proxy measure for assessing their effectiveness. They compared 2074 municipalities from 2004 to 2009 and found that ‘women’s police stations appear to be highly effective among young women living in metropolitan areas’ . The  homicide rate dropped by 17 per cent for all women, but for women aged 15-24 in metropolitan areas the reduction was 50 per cent (or 5.57 deaths reduction per 100,000) (Perova and Reynolds 2017: 193-194).

Kerry now has all the approvals necessary to conduct the research and will commence in July this year.

You can listen to a broadcast about the research project aired Friday afternoon 27 April 2018 on the Multicultural Show – Community Radio Interview 4EB  by clicking the link below.

http://www.4eb.org.au/node/41839

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