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Towards gender equality reform in police organisations: the utility of a social justice approach
journal contributionposted on 2023-01-25, 01:04 authored by Amanda KeddieAmanda Keddie
Recent investigations into sex discrimination, sexual harassment and predatory behaviour within police organisations have led to a range of gender reforms that aim to create more inclusion, respect and safety. These reforms have tended to be female-focused and designed to support greater equality for female police. This paper reports on an interview-based study that sought to understand and address resistance to gender equality reform within a large police organisation in Australia. The paper draws on Nancy Fraser’s model of social justice to consider the capacity of particular reforms to reproduce and/or transform the organisation’s hierarchical structures and masculinised cultures. Fraser’s model is presented as enriching current understandings about how the policy aims of gender equality might be realised in police organisations through a broader focus on supporting political, cultural and economic justice for all. The paper concludes by considering the practice implications of this social justice approach for police organisations.