By Ila Ananya
Three women officers, Usha Evans, Nighat Hubbard and Catherine Bell, are suing Scotland Yard over discrimination, racism and sexism.
In what has begun to seem unsurprising now, the women officers said their male colleagues had been allowed to work on “complex investigations” while they were held back, and Hubbard, who was the Metropolitan Police’s first Muslim policewoman to be awarded by the Queen, said that the male officers made discriminatory statements about her and other women on the force.
Closer to home, it reminds us of how male police officers have made life extremely difficult for the already few women police officers. And remember how everyone was talking about how a police department in Tamil Nadu in November 2016 had no women since 1964? Or how when ten women officers were promoted in Tamil Nadu, they were sent back to their original police departments because the work involved “travelling across Tamil Nadu and not 9 to 5 hours?”
There have been all kinds of complaints in the Scotland Yard case — Bell, one of the complainants reportedly said to an Asian female officer, “You need to grow a beard, shout more and be more masculine”. A male officer who had mocked Evan’s religion, was also accused of calling a female colleague “a f******witch”. But an internal inquiry cleared the men who had been accused, stating that they had “no case to answer.”
Earlier this year, Cressida Dick had become the first woman to be appointed the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. When she had been appointed, we’d heard that Home Secretary Amber Rudd had said that she had “an understanding of the diverse range of communities [Scotland Yard] serves.” Apart from the fact that there’s no reason for us to think that having a woman officer would ensure equality for all, it’s also important to remember that despite having women in leadership roles, it’s obvious that nothing is translating in the workplace.