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Strong Women Take Strong Roles in Police

I also hope that young girls will be able to learn from my experience that anything is possible if we put our hearts and minds to it: Lewaicei In an
04 Jan 2017 13:06
Strong Women Take Strong Roles in Police
Alanieta Lewaicei of the Police Transport Pool. Photo: Fiji Police Force Media Cell

I also hope that young girls will be able to learn from my experience that anything is possible if we put our hearts and minds to it: Lewaicei

In an institution that is usually viewed as being dominated by men, women are slowly taking up more non-traditional roles within the Fiji Police Force.

Two women are examples of this new change taking up roles with the Fiji Police Transport Pool.

Alanieta Lewaicei is currently employed as an auto electrician, based at the Transport Pool tasked with servicing Police owned vehicles. It is a role she has enjoyed for the past four years.

“I thought it would be challenging working in a male dominated institution, but this couldn’t be further from the truth, and I have enjoyed every minute of my time being a member of the Transport Pool”.

Hailing from Wailevu, Tunuloa, Cakaudrove, the mother of two said she was able to cope with the demands of her work with the support of her family.

“I sometimes have to travel to maritime islands and I’ve spent two weeks in Koro and even a month in Rotuma servicing vehicles and the entire time away my husband has held the fort allowing me to concentrate on my work”.

Having studied at the Fiji National University, Ms Lewaicei first took up an apprenticeship with the Public Works Department before making the decision to join the Force, one she has never regretted.

“I’ve always enjoyed working with men and it was a personal challenge to see how I would perform and to date I believe I have been able to meet the operational demands placed on me.

“I also hope that young girls will be able to learn from my experience that anything is possible if we put our hearts and minds to it”.

Echoing similar sentiments was Waciwaci, Lakeba native WSC Olivia Waqabaca, the lone female driver with the Force’s Transport Pool.

WSC Waqabaca’s journey into the Fiji Police Force was met with a lot of challenges. However she was persistent in securing a place.

“I worked for a bakery before and when I saw the advertisement that the Fiji Police Force was hiring, I applied without any reservations.

“I knew I would have to work mainly with men and this did not concern me at all, and while it took some time to get settled, we all have a great working relationship and gender is not even an issue,” she said.

Tasked with driving duties as well as an administrative role in looking after Police owned vehicles, she adds she is still encountering the odd strange look when on driving duties.

“When I am tasked to drive for a senior officer, I’ve never met, or when I go to other divisions I still get the usual look of shock that a female officer is driving, but it’s usually followed by a nod of approval.”

When asked about what advice she would have for young girls, she said the key is following your heart.

“When I saw the ad in the paper I was persistent in making sure I was taken in as a driver and I believe the staff conducting the recruitment drive saw that in me and it’s a passion that should motivate you to achieving what your heart desires,” she said.

“As women we need to step outside of our comfort zones and we should not be dictated about what we are capable of doing just because society says so”.

Source: Fiji Police Force Media Cell

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