Working Lives Georgia

Working Lives Georgia: Policewoman

Police officer Nino Pkhakhadze is one of a new breed of Georgians police officers.

Ten years ago police in Georgia had a reputation for being corrupt and doing little policing. Predominantly men, they were often found standing on street corners extracting bribes from passing drivers.

Georgia Direct graphic

It would have occurred to few 28-year old women to don a police uniform and carry a gun.

After the Rose revolution which brought in a new pro-western government in 2003, Nino says she was inspired to work in law enforcement.

As part of a massive reinvestment in the public sector 15,000 members of the police force were replaced with better trained, better equipped officers.

A trained lawyer, Nino decided she would have more affect fighting crime with the police than in the courts.

She says she loves her job, and has not experienced any chauvinism or prejudice as one of the few female officers. Just over one in ten of Georgian police are women.

"I don't feel the gender inequality at work, but I think women should be given more opportunities to demonstrate their abilities," she says.

Looking around her place of work, a glass-fronted suburban police station, you can see she works in a well-funded part of the public sector. It's more like a spacious corporate office than a grimy frontline base in the fight against crime.

Most of the country's police stations have been rebuilt in the same style in a bid to foster transparency.

"The Georgian government spends much money on making sure we have the right equipment. My aim is just to be promoted in my profession," says the lieutenant.

At the moment Nino lives with her parents and her brother, who is also a police officer. She says she saves part of her 550 US dollar-a-month salary, thinking ahead to when she might start a family of her own.

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