Author: Bibby, Claire1
Published in National Security Journal, 05 April 2021
Summary and Conclusion
This study has examined the communication approaches of NZ Police to operationalise the NZ National Action Plan for Resolution 1325, Women, Peace and Security. In the quantitative data, police personnel identified the importance of presenting a professional image of themselves when communicating with people, including people of a different gender to their own. The qualitative and quantitative data in this research identified language and culture as major barriers for men and women in NZ Police wanting to communicate with people of a different gender internationally.
By using imagery which normalises communication between men and women, these barriers may be overcome. Normalisation through imagery enables leaders at the parliamentary level and the executive level of security sector agencies, to be visible in demonstrating their professional commitment to women in leadership and engaging women in decision making conversations. Further, imagery gives status to police leaders, by demonstrating their commitment to listening to the voice of women politicians and women community leaders. By normalising and making visible communication between men and women at the highest levels, operational staff are empowered to ‘walk to talk’ with people of a different gender, at their own levels of influence.
This research validates that an effective communication strategy ensures gender equality in the representation of men and women in policing communicating with men and women on matters relating to peace and security. The findings stress the need for the development of policy that embeds imagery-based communication as a strategic objective both at inter-organisation and intra-organisational levels. This embedding strategy provides a context for the use of monitoring and evaluation systems and ensures managers that discussions between genders are taking place that reflect the intent of resolution 1325 toward peace and security outcomes.
In summary, developing policies and practices based on communication strategies materialises the willingness and desire of the men and women in policing to deliver to the intent of the NZ National Action Plan. This research contributes to the design and development of communication strategies that enable key messages to be directed to specific audiences in a cultural context. By combining the knowledge, skill and experiences of men and women, with strong communication and visible leadership, men and women in policing will be better positioned to achieve their Women, Peace and Security objectives and outcomes.