From Where I Stand: Lucy Nduati On Being A Female Police Officer In Kenya

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From Where I Stand is a powerful, new editorial series from UN Women that is capturing the unique stories of women and girls around the world.

With the new global 2030 roadmap and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) approved by UN Member States last September, UN Women is taking a look at how women are affected by each of the SDGs, as well as how women and girls “can be and are the key to achieving each of these goals.”

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The series features women who are farmers, teachers, doctors, entrepreneurs, ministers, etc. all who are contributing to their families, communities, and the economy in spite of the daily challenges and cultural stigmas they face.

Each story is told by the woman herself, and is supported by an icon representing the SDG their work is directly related to. The overall mission of the Sustainable Development Goals is to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

Here is one of the many stories from the series:

Officer Lucy Nduati (second in line, front row) smiles as she marches alongside her fellow Kenyan women police officers during a parade. Photo: UN Women/Kennedy Okoth

Officer Lucy Nduati (second in line, front row) smiles as she marches alongside her fellow Kenyan women police officers during a parade. Photo: UN Women/Kennedy Okoth

From where I stand: Lucy Nduati

Where I come from, police officers are some of the most highly respected people, and becoming one brought pride to my family. However, being a female police officer in Kenya can pose challenges. Kenyan culture is part of the African old patriarchal system where women are not placed in places of power. In most cases men will feel degraded if I arrest them. Sometimes they even use sexual advances, thinking that’s what I need to get them off the hook.

It is important that women are part of the police force because most people find women more understanding. Women have a unique way of policing that is generally based on communications.

I have been part of the Administration Police Headquarters for the last six years. In my tenure as the Secretary of the Kenya Association of Women in Policing, I have gained an immense interest in cases relating to sexual or gender-based violence. I am currently running a network of middle and junior management-level police officers and we push for cases they are handling to reach successful prosecution.”


E_SDG_Icons-16Lucy Nduati is a 34-year-old single mother and a police officer from Nairobi. Over the course of her career, she has handled cases of sexual and gender-based violence and has been relentless in helping survivors obtain justice. In 2013, UN Women, with support from Kenya, helped launch the Kenya Association of Women in Policing and has been working to increase the presence of women in the police force. Nduati’s work is directly related to the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Photos courtesy of UN Women. Read more stories in the “From where I stand…” editorial series.

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