Spotlight on gender bias in Tongan police force

Police in Tonga are hoping to improve their own behaviour with the introduction of gender bias training.

Superintendent Ashley Fua says the Women and Children Crisis Centre helped run a workshop for 28 recruits addressing core questions of fairness, equity and equality and how they treat women.

He said an earlier session revealed gender bias was also hindering the performance of officers in the field.

Mr Fua said the training helped the recruits examine their own attitudes.

"It is quite a reflective session, it asks very hard questions because you're really looking at your Tongan culture and how society looks at women and men.

"There's an opportunity at the early start of their career that we're able to make those changes and influence how they see men and women and how that will impact on how they deliver their services."

Mr Fua said it was a bigger challenge to change the mindset of older police, but more training is planned.