Author: Bibby, Claire1
Published in National Security Journal, 05 April 2021
The survey was emailed to police personnel in 2017 and was open for 14 days. Owing to institutional barriers, the survey could not be publicised and no reminder notice to participate could be sent. The survey was emailed to 509 people and 151 responded.
The survey had 23 questions. The first part of the survey asked questions about the respondent’s gender, whether they were constabulary or non-constabulary staff, their rank, age bracket, length of service. Definitions for gender and gender equality in the survey were sourced from UN Women (the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women).20 Some general knowledge questions were asked about the principles of policing, the United Nations conventions relating to gender, and the NZ National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security.
Part way through the survey, a question was designed to separate those who have policed internationally, from those who have not. Those who have policed internationally, were asked questions about communicating with people of a different gender to one’s own in international fora. This included questions about barriers to communicating and what enables communication to work well. Questions were also asked about respondent’s levels of safety when communicating with indigenous people, expatriates and partner agencies of a different gender to their own, in public and in private. Respondents could also comment to open ended questions.
The participants in the focus groups were volunteers from the International Services Group (ISG) within police. The ISG has the lead for implementing the police actions in the NZ National Action Plan. The focus groups were gender based, with five women in one group and four men in the other. The purpose of the focus groups was to establish what the participants understood of the NZ National Action Plan and ways it influenced their work. Questions were asked about the way ISG communicated the plan, the key players, and pathways for greater or lesser resistance to delivering it. Participants were also invited to bring an image or photograph that represents New Zealand’s international policing at its best. They were asked ‘What message does the image present about New Zealand policing internationally?’ ‘What messages are there about gender?’ and ‘How could imagery be used in messaging for the implementation plan?’2
During the two weeks the survey was open, it was undertaken by 151 personnel of whom 101 identified as male and 50 as female and none as gender diverse. Most of the respondents, a total of 111, (74% males and 72% females) did not work under the line management of a District Commander, indicating the influence of Police Headquarters personnel in international policing.
2 The survey and focus group designs were subject to the Massey University Code of Ethical Conduct for Research, Teaching and Evaluations involving Human Participants and were submitted to the Massey University Ethics Committee for assessment and were approved.