Only a fraction of the new recruits joining the disciplined forces are women, Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia has lamented.
Of a total of 56 recruits currently undergoing police training to be able to join the force, just 11 are women. At the Civil Protection Department, only three of the 130 people in training are women.
This, the minister said, was in spite of the fact that a number of family-friendly measures were already in place and which should serve to encourage more women to sign up.
"There is no excuse that there aren't enough family-friendly measures in place, because there are. We need to push this message forward because we want people of different sexual orientation [sic] to be part of our different sectors," the minister said.
Dr Farrugia made the comments following a visit to the Academy for Disciplined Forces in Siġġiewi. Speaking to those receiving training at the facility, the minister insisted hands-on training was a crucial part of the programme. In-service training, offered to those who were already on the job, was also important as this helped officers with the development of their skills even after leaving the academy, he went on.
"I am very happy with the training that is being given at this academy and I hope that there will be more people coming forward, especially during the upcoming recruitment drive."
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