The Emancipatory Effect of Law and Its Limits Exemplified by the Promotion of Women in the Police Service


  • Hannah Reiter Vienna Centre for Societal Security (VICESSE)



Police research, equality policies, female police officers, gender equality


The discourse surrounding gender equality policies remains a contentious subject within legal circles, manifesting in diverse forms of debate. This article delves into the gender equality measures implemented within the Austrian police service, offering insights from the vantage point of female police officers, a demographic directly affected by these policies. The reluctance and scepticism among police officers towards equality initiatives stem from challenges related to information dissemination and a nuanced interpretation of “equality” entrenched in the hegemonic police culture of masculinity. A conundrum emerges: the realisation of equal participation for women within the police service seems arduous without the presence of robust equality policies; yet the efficacy of these policies is imperilled in the absence of a fundamental restructuring and re-evaluation of the police institution and its cultural dynamics.

Author Biography

Hannah Reiter, Vienna Centre for Societal Security (VICESSE)

Hannah Reiter, PhD, Researcher, VICESSE (Vienna Centre for Societal Security), Paulanergasse 4/8, 1040 Wien