Scandal-hit Mozambican police school gets female boss

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Jose Tembe BBC News, Maputo

The appointment of a woman to head a police training school in Mozambique accused of sexual exploitation has been praised by a leading group of female lawyers.

The naming of Beatriz Tichala was “a small step towards restoring confidence” in the Matalane Police Training School, said Eulália Ofumane, the executive director of the Mozambican Association of Women in Legal Careers.

She said she felt it would make the institution in southern Maputo province “safer for young women”.

Sexual abuse often reduced when women were in a position of power because female leaders had “greater sensitivity to inequalities”, Ms Ofumane explained.

Four female trainees at the school were reportedly made pregnant by their instructors, raising concern among government officials including President Filipe Nyusi.

Two of the suspected instructors were expelled but civil society organisations have called for more action.

Three weeks ago, police chief Bernardino Rafael was quoted as saying that the two instructors had been transferred to other services but he did not provide more details.