Women’s Day: Earning Respect In Male-dominated Profession - Eastern Mirror
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Women’s Day: Earning respect in male-dominated profession

By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: Mar 08, 2022 2:11 am
Dr Tiamenla Phom
Dr. Tiamenla Phom

Henlly Phom Odyuo
Dimapur, March 7 (EMN):
The world celebrates International Women’s Day every year on March 8 to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women but gender equality is still a distant dream with many people still refusing to acknowledge the existence of gender inequality, which is needed to bring about change.

Deputy Commandant of 7th NAP Bn, Bhandari, Dr. Tiamenla Phom told Eastern Mirror that there are times where she feels helpless and experiences internal conflict when she encounters people who have traditional mindset and are oblivious to changes taking place in the society.

So are the words “women” and “power” incompatible? The police officer said that these two words define her and she won’t exist without it. She opined that ‘our society is evolving so much that people are becoming more appreciative and recognise women in power.

‘Power, for me is a position where I have the opportunity to exercise positive influence maintaining my own individuality and having the ability to recognise the responsibilities and accountability while holding such a position,’ said Phom who has served as a police officer for 12 years.

Working in a male-dominated profession may not be easy some but Phom said that she has so far not experienced any instances of resistance as a police officer leading men, which she found surprising.

“I would credit this to the set-up structure where the very essence that drives the work force (police) is discipline and respect,” she said.

The police officer opined that many men respond to gender equality in very different ways-some supportive and some antagonistic. But the issue is universal and it’s here to stay, she said while adding that acknowledging the existence of gender inequality is needed to fight against it. ‘What is needed is self-awareness and also solidarity regarding this issue.

The police officer also advised women entering male-dominated professions to remove all feelings of self-doubt and to be confident.

Nagaland Armed Police Training Centre (NAPTC) ABSI Bendangnaro, who is also known as “The Biker Cop Narola Jati”, said that to her power is doing what she loves, focusing more on positive sides. It’s about doing her everyday chores without hesitation; performing duties with zeal and honour forgetting what others might think of her and chasing her dreams with enthusiasm while influencing the actions of others by her positive lifestyle so that it helps bring more control to her life.

She said that ‘power is about the active self that enhances confidence, self regulations and prioritising the efforts toward achieving goals at its zenith’.

“I, confidently without an iota of doubt believe that women can be good in strengthening our community and protecting our planet. I do even believe that women’s participation is fundamental to democratic governance,” she said.

The Biker cop also said that she had her share of struggles and obstacles during her 14 years career as a police officer because of her gender, some of which she didn’t not wish to recollect.

Narola Jati 1

‘It’s hard at times to be in a misogynist society where people would keep pointing fingers at everything you do, but if we take those comments as a challenge, it in fact moulds you, shapes you and makes you stronger. Being a badminton lover since childhood, I remember playing with the hard cover of my note book. Had no racket as no one encouraged. Some would say you are a woman so your place is in the kitchen, you won’t fill your stomach with badminton and don’t try your hands on everything. But I am where I am today because of my love for badminton,’ she said.

“I joined NAP as a constable; even there too people would say what would a constable do, women should not serve in the police department, you will be serving others, and many more but I chose to turn a deaf ear to naysayers and chased my dreams as I always wanted to be a police officer,” she added.

She said that her love for badminton, her efforts, dedication, consistency and strong determination pushed her from the rank of a constable to an ABSI from constable in just few years.

‘Some comments also challenged me to take up commando course and I am proud I did it. Today, I am proud of myself; of being a trained commando as well. It’s always hard; everything is hard in life but the taste of achieving things with hardships and effort is even sweeter,’ she shared.

The police officer also acknowledged the role played by her colleagues, badminton and riding family in her life.

“I should say I am very fortunate and lucky or maybe it’s because I respect men that I get men who respects women. From my colleagues at NAPTC, from high ranking officers to NCE to my badminton and riding family, everyone is so beautiful and supportive that I love and enjoy my career, passion and life. I am so very lucky and proud to have them around. They’re all supportive and helpful that I don’t have a question of facing resistance when I lead in anyway,” she said.

She is of the opinion that man can promote gender equality by erasing discrimination from one’s head; respecting and accepting women as God’s creation; creating awareness, conducting programmes among men and boys on men’s active support in gender equality and the importance of women’s role in their lives; identifying and acknowledging the importance and benefits of women’s participation in their lives; treating women with respect and equality in work places; sharing of family responsibilities; acknowledging and actively listening to women’s perspectives; giving credit to female co-workers on their participations and contributions of their ideas; and including women in decision making bodies.

The police officer also advised women entering a male-dominated profession to keep reminding themselves as a life-giver and never feel inferior but not be over smart as well. “Carry good conduct and earn respect as respect is earned and not bought,” she said.

“Be a prayerful woman no matter what you are going through. Never cease to pray and you’ll find every answer there. With these qualities in you, you can enter any male-dominated profession with an assurance of getting respect in return,” she added.

By Henlly Phom Odyuo Updated: Mar 08, 2022 2:11:26 am
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