Talking points: should the requirements be different for men and women applying to join the police force?

Talking points: should the requirements be different for men and women applying to join the police force?

Hate it when you can’t talk back? Well, you can with Young Post. Have your say and share with students around Hong Kong

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How should the police set fitness requirements for men and women?
Photo: Winson Wong/SCMP

Cheung Pui-sze, 15, Tin Shui Wai Methodist College

Certainly, in terms of fitness requirements. A man’s body is different to a woman’s, so the requirements should be different. If they were the same, there might be fewer women on the police force. This would be bad, as there are some things that can only be done by female officers, such as carrying out a body search on another woman. There would be a lot of complaints if a man were to perform that.

Vincent Chan Kai-fung, 15, PLK Wu Chung College

No. Although it may sound unfair, this is why. 

First, the work of both policemen and policewomen is the same. We need to make sure our police officers are capable of accomplishing their missions safely. Since they have such tough jobs and have to handle very violent scenarios sometimes, the government has to recruit the most physically fit people, regardless of their gender.

Also, the requirements to become a firefighter for both males and females are the same. As both are departments in the disciplined services with the mission of saving lives, the requirement to become a police officer should be the same. Fairness should be built on a relative basis.


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Louise Leung Hoi-ching, 17, CMA Secondary School 

I strongly believe that the requirement should be different for men and women, since they are innately different in their body structures. Although most females are not physically as strong as males, females are more careful and meticulous than males and so can help get things done more comprehensively. 

We also need policewomen to handle female criminals as well as take care of female victims. Therefore, the different requirement for men and women is appropriate.

Alvin Leung Cheuk-fung, 14, Kwun Tong Maryknoll College

Yes, I think the requirement should be different for the two genders, not because of gender inequality, but because men and women have different physical builds.

For women, most of them have a slim body-build, meaning that they are more dexterous and agile while men may have a muscular body-build, good for heavy-lifting or crowd-control.

Therefore, creating different requirements may actually help our police force do different jobs more effectively.


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Ady Lam, 13, Island School

I believe no. Hong Kongers have been striving to achieve gender equality for a long time. If the requirement for men and women applying to join the police force is unequal, then gender equality will not have been accomplished. Although men and women may have different physical conditions, it is my belief that enough hard work will get you to the physical and mental levels you need to succeed at the job.

Cheung Pui-sze, 15, Tin Shui Wai Methodist College

Certainly, in terms of fitness requirements. A man’s body is different to a woman’s, so the requirements should be different. If they were the same, there might be fewer women on the police force. This would be bad, as there are some things that can only be done by female officers, such as carrying out a body search on another woman. There would be a lot of complaints if a man were to perform that.


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Nicole Wong Wai-yan, 15, Ma On Shan Tsung Tsin Secondary School

As all police officers have the same duty, the requirements for men and women applying to join the police force should be the same. This is quite unfair to the men if they have higher requirements, but get the same salary. 

And when they are facing a thief, the policewomen may not have the ability to fight against the bad guys if she does not have the same basic capabilities as her male colleagues. Both male and female police officers keep the citizens safe. The duty is the same, so the requirements should be too.

Anson Liu Hong-yau, 16, Wa Ying College

Definitely no. Some may think that physically women are not as strong as men. However, the requirements set by the police force are geared towards ensuring that people who apply for the job have the ability to handle this tough job. If the requirements are lowered for women, some women who are not actually capable for the job may be recruited. The consequences can be serious if they fail to maintain law and order in society.

Besides, the issue of fairness should be considered. Since both men and women are paid equally, it will be unfair to men if women can enter the job with lower requirements.


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Jennifer Ma Lok-yee, 14, Daughter of Mary Help Christians Siu Ming Catholic Secondary School

Yes, because the physiques of males and females are different. It is unfair if the physical ability requirements for men and women are the same. Males usually have a larger body size and they are more muscular. Their percentage of essential body fat is usually lower than females too. Therefore, the physical ability test pass rates of male applicants would be higher than female counterparts if the requirements are the same. 

Although women’s physiques may not be as good, they can be more patient on communication with criminals and they don’t need to worry about having body contact with females. It is easier for policewomen to handle the cases with female criminals and juvenile offenders. Consequently, the requirements for men and women applying to join the police force should be different.

Kelvin Chan To-yik, 17, Kwok Tak Seng Catholic Secondary School

The requirements should be the same. Firstly, arresting thieves is one of the main duties of police officers. Since both male and female officers have to chase the suspects equally well, having a uniform standard is essential for both men and women.

Secondly, there should be gender equality and no discrimination at all for application to any job. This is the basis of a fair society.


In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:

Should the group discussion component of the HKDSE language exams be scrapped?

We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to yp@scmp.com by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Should the requirements be different for men and women applying to join the police force?

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