Women Officers and the Conflict
Women RUC officers served alongside their male colleagues. Although they were not deliberately targeted by terrorists, they experienced many threats similar to those experienced by RUC men. For example, they travelled in vehicles when they were attacked by rockets; caught up in bomb explosions; they were in police stations when they were attacked by mortars. Accordingly, policewomen died in these kinds of attacks. However, unlike their male colleagues they were unarmed for most of the conflict but many received unofficial firearms training from RUC men. Women officers’ views on the question of carrying guns differed. The conflict fostered a spirit of camaraderie between male and female officers which helped breakdown the kind of gender barriers that exist in other forces. This chapter accounts for the experiences of women RUC officers during the Troubles.
KeywordsRUC women Carrying firearms Masculinity Gender, women’s police branch Camaraderie
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