Re-theorising women in policing

Prof. Kerry Carrington1, Dr Jess Rodgers2, Prof Maximo Sozzo3

1Qut Centre For Justice, Brisbane, Australia
2QUT Centre for Justice, Brisbane, Australia
3Universidad Nacional Literol, Santa Fe, Argentina

There has been considerable debate about what has become termed the Brown progression model of the integration of women into policing (Brown 1997). Limitations of the model stem from its lack of generalisability to other cultures, its linear approach to progress, and its reliance on liberal feminist concepts that integration into a non-gendered policing model will enhance policing for women as victims and police. There is now also a debate about whether the genuine feminisation of policing will ever be a possibility given the stubborn masculinity of the culture of policing. In this paper we present an alternative history and model of women in policing recovered from South America.  In the 1980s when gender violence became a new focus of policing following the struggles of the women’s movement that the state take responsibility for ensuring women’s safety, countries in South America invented a new form of policing – women-led police stations designed to receive the survivors of gender violence. This ongoing specialism is seen by some policing theorists as a residue of the past. We argue that this characterisation is based on a form of theorisation, typical of comparative criminology, that privileges policing practices in the anglophone countries, as the normative benchmark to measure the progress of other countries. Framed by southern epistemologies, our article challenges this interpretation, theorising an alternative model of continuous segregated policing of gender violence, as an innovation that could improve the experience of women as victims and police elsewhere in the world.


Kerry Carrington is a Research Professor in the QUT Centre for Justice Queensland University of Technology, and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, Australia.She has an extensive track record leading cross-cultural, multi-lingual research collaborations across Latin America, Pacific Islands and Australia. Kerry is a co-author of Southern Criminology (2019) Feminism and Global Justice (2015) and over 130 other publications, as well as the Founding Chief Editor of Australia’s first open-access journal in law and criminology International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy.


Aug 26 2021


8:00 am - 6:00 pm