From Australian Network News:
The Samoan chair of a Pacific women's advocacy group is pushing for more acceptance of women in the region's police forces.
Siripa Uelese, the chairwoman of the Women's Advisory Network which is part of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police Secretariat (PICP), is leading the call for policewomen to be given equal opportunities in law enforcement.
She says many policemen believe law enforcement work is unsafe for women.
"But then we have the same skills, we have the same experience and yet we've been under-utilised,' she told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program.
She says they should not just be placed in desk jobs if they are capable of performing other roles.
The Secretariat Officer of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police, Dave Potaka, says the role of women in police work needs to be assessed.
"Women are quite capable, and are getting paid the same amount of money as the men are, so there's no reason why they can't - they have the same abilities," he said.
"It's been pointed out to me that probably the only thing they can't do is search male prisoners, as men can't search women prisoners. Otherwise they should be able to do the job exactly the same."
Inspector Dave Potaka says the Chiefs of Police in the Pacific would benefit from discussions on how to progress opportunities for women.