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So you wanna be a cop?Women Join Iraqi Police Force-Article

girlfiredup

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Edit:   sorry.. should probably go under "off topic".   feel free to move it.

I wonder if the $140 a month includes danger pay?    :eek:

Wielding Guns and Handcuffs, Women Join Iraq Police

Sun Jul 11, 9:11 AM ET  

By Matthew Green

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Whipping out her handgun and slamming a magazine into the grip, 20-year-old Hadeel Alwan can't wait to start catching criminals.

"My biggest wish is to destroy terrorism," said Alwan, one of the youngest of Iraq's new women police recruits. "I want to go out on the streets and do everything a man does."

Battling a raging insurgency and an explosion of violent crime since the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraq has started hiring women police officers for the first time in decades.

Like the men, they face the risk of suicide car bombs, attacks by heavily armed militants on police stations and death threats for cooperating with U.S.-trained forces.

But they must also tackle prejudice from more conservative Iraqis who think police work is man's work, a throwback to years of male domination of the security services under Saddam.

"Some of my friends make fun of me," said Alwan. "They ask me if I'm afraid, and they tell me it's not a woman's job," she said, speaking after a practice session with her Glock 19 pistol at Baghdad's police academy.

"I can't get into a debate with them, because they've got a different mindset."

As recruits fired pistols at a range, a series of blasts echoed across Baghdad -- a reminder of the bombings and other attacks that have killed at least 800 police officers over the past year.

Iraq may be one of the most dangerous places for crime fighters, but Alwan, who is not married, said her relatives encouraged her to pursue her dream despite their fears.

"They worry about me, especially when they hear about explosions," she said.

U.S. army trainers say the women can feel intimidated by male instructors, but often turn out to be as tough as the men when it comes to using truncheons and restraining suspects.

"Next week we have defensive tactics. We teach them how to use the handcuffs and batons," said U.S. Army Sgt. Carmecia Rodriguez, 22, from Augusta, Georgia. "That'll get interesting."

OPEN MINDED

Iraq has not hired women recruits since the force experimented with the idea in the 1960s, according to senior officers, but that changed with the fall of Saddam.

The U.S.-led administration, which handed powers to an interim Iraqi government on June 28, encouraged the police to start employing women when it began training the force, notorious for corruption and human rights abuses under Saddam.

About 115 women recruits have passed through the academy since U.S. forces took control of training after last year's invasion, keeping their 1,200 male counterparts on their toes.

"They shoot better than some of the guys," said U.S. Army Spc. David Dunn, 26, from Buffalo, New York.

"A lot of the females are kind of intimidated by the weapon, so they're more open minded to listening to what we've got to say," he said, after teaching a handgun class.

Women have traditionally played a more prominent role in Iraq's work force than in many more conservative Muslim cultures, but many women say they feel under more pressure to keep a low profile since the invasion.

Crime is much worse now that Saddam's oppressive rule is over, while a growth in the kind of Islamic radicalism he kept in check has left many women exposed to the risk of harassment if they venture out unaccompanied by a man.

Preparing to impose law and order on the streets of Baghdad, women recruits brush such worries aside.

They learn the same skills as men during the eight-week basic training course, which has been kept brief so Iraq can deploy officers as fast as possible to combat the insurgency.

Clad in the same kind of light blue shirts and dark blue trousers worn by Iraq's male police recruits, the women do nevertheless enjoy some differences in dress. Some wear blue headscarves instead of regulation baseball caps.

GUNFIGHTS

Like the men, many women have signed up for the salary -- about $140 a month -- seizing a chance to provide for their families in an economy ravaged by war and years of sanctions.

"Iraqi women are known for being strong," said Batool Mohammed-Sayid, 35, whose husband was killed in the 1991 Gulf War by a U.S. missile, leaving her to provide for five children.

"I can go back home, cook, clean and spend time with my family, and I won't feel tired if I come back here tomorrow."

Privately, top police officers say it would be difficult to deploy women to the sharp end of operations given conservative attitudes among some Iraqi men, although all police officers in Iraq face the risk of attack.

"In the civilized world, there are always female police officers," said Brig. Hussein Mehdi Juma, director of the police academy. "They go out on patrol, but we don't think it's suitable for them to get involved in gunfights."

For now, ambitious women officers like 25-year-old Suad Hussein will have to be content with the safer side of duty.

"I wish I was going out on the streets, but for the moment I've been left in the courtroom," she said.
 

Gunnar

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I wonder if the police forces were pushed into hiring women by our Politically Correct Allies.   In a country where women typically don't matter, trying to give them authority, when they won't be supported by their superiors, is stupid.

They'll either be sidelined to a desk job, or die horribly in an poorly investigated work incident.
 

Jarnhamar

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I couldn't agree more Gunnar.

Seems like their pushing it on to people to show how much things have changed. 
 

Fruss

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GirlFiredUp said:
I wonder if the $140 a month includes danger pay?    :eek:

Don't forget that in Iraq, the money don't have the same value.  You probably can buy a car for not even 5000$  Maybe less...  so 140$/month is a lot of money..
 

Scott

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I think you guys are right about the Allies pressuring agencies in Iraq to hire women. Not that it's wrong.....

Cheers!
 

Gunnar

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No, that's exactly the point:  It IS wrong.  Not because women can't do the job, they can.  But because women can't do the job over there.  If a woman is swarmed by a bunch of guys and beaten to death, even if she's a cop, the local constabulary will not investigate or prosecute to the level we would expect because OVER THERE WOMEN DON'T MATTER!!!.

You don't start the equality of the sexes issue by pushing the most dangerous and emotially charged issues.  All that does is get a bunch of otherwise hopeful women killed.  You start a philosophical change, by allowing women who are interested into other trades like computers or graphics design, or something where people will gradually start to realize the power of their brains....then when it becomes culturally accepted to the point where her brother officers can be counted to back her up when she needs it, THEN you make them cops.

Imagine, 10 minutes after the end of the US Civil war, you make a black man governor of the state.  Or the Mayor, or Sheriff.  Sound like a good plan to you?
 

Scott

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Absoloutely right Gunnar, I had not thought of it that way and thank you.

Cheers
 

Fruss

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I didn't agree to Gunnar's statement until the last thing about the civil war..  that actually makes sense when you think about it..
 

GerryCan

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Imagine, 10 minutes after the end of the US Civil war, you make a black man governor of the state.  Or the Mayor, or Sheriff.  Sound like a good plan to you?

Well it worked in Blazing Saddles didn't it? ;)
 

FastEddy

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GirlFiredUp said:
Edit:   sorry.. should probably go under "off topic".   feel free to move it.

I wonder if the $140 a month includes danger pay?    :eek:

Wielding Guns and Handcuffs, Women Join Iraq Police

Sun Jul 11, 9:11 AM ET  

By Matthew Green


Thanks for bringing this Article to our attention (interesting turn of events) and the replies to it.

I would be very interested to hear your views on it and/or any CF Female Personnel .
 

combat_medic

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I'm a female in the CF and I have mixed feelings about this.

I agree with Gunnar that gender integration in a country where, until recently, women had ZERO rights is touchy, and should be done slowly. However, I think that the presence of female police officers is even more relevant and necassary than women in the military. If you're dealing with a child that's been abducted, or a woman that was raped they will very often respond far better to a woman doing the investigation. If you're a woman who was beaten by her father and her husband, and have to make a report about the abuse, are you likely to be trusting of other men? Pretty doubtful. Also in terms of doing searches, it's just easier on so many levels to have women search other women.

If they could put women in investigative and administrative roles, and have them available to interview and deal with the women and children victims, that might work. It still allows them to be employed, but not so visible as to put them at risk.

Look at how long gender integration has been in the CF, and we still have problems. Women have been able to vote for nearly 100 years and officially became "persons" under the law almost 80 years ago, but we still have problems. While the integration needs to take place in Iraq, to rush it could prove disastrous for everyone involved.
 

FastEddy

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combat_medic said:
I'm a female in the CF and I have mixed feelings about this.

Thank You combat_medic, very well written and expressed.

I agree with you that it might-en   have been the most prudent action at this time, but when is, do we put a valve on Liberty,Freedoms and Equality. And then dribble out bits and pieces when its convenient.

As you have pointed out, its taken a long hard time and road for Women to arrive at the present status-quo right here in the Western World.

If anyone has slightly been following the events in Iraq, they will have noticed that No Where or Any Body is out of Harm's Way, occupationally or just a Innocent by-stander. I agree that the Police seem to have a Target painted on their backs. but so does the Fruit Vendor who supports the New Iraq.

As the Article clearly states, the young Policewoman is quite dis-appointed that she will not be assigned to Patrol Duties, but to Administrative. That coinsides with everybody's concerns and recommendations.

I do not think there would be any less concern or investigative procedures for the death of a Policewoman than her Male counterparts. How much paper work do you think has been done on the 800 Policemen so far. Maybe she would be safer on the Streets considering the way they are blowing up Police Stations.

On the point that it could be most likely that a Iraq Policeman would not come to the assistance of a fallen Policewoman (or care), as a Iraq Policeman reading this I would be Highly Insulted.

But the most important point that we all seem to miss, is the Screams of Freedom and Expression at last, that these young Women are exercising in defiance and against some pretty heavy odds. We gave them Freedom then Hope, Now give them a Chance. If we could pick the right time or circumstances, life would be so much easier.

As a closing note: combat_medic

All of the above is not in response to your reply (which as I mentioned well done), but I have taken the opportunity to use it to respond to other previous quotes.
 
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