Twenty-four-year-old Hajear and her sister Sarah, 26, are police officers in Iraq. They say they want to serve as role models for other Iraqi women who are used to working modestly in the home.
Hajear and Sarah arrived at the Al-Khadra police station in northern Baghdad just five days ago, after finishing a two-month training course. They wear blue Iraqi police uniforms and carry guns. Their faces are not covered, but they do wear Muslim head scarves. The sisters constantly smile and laugh. They are two of some 300 women serving on the Baghdad police force...
"My family encouraged me to be a police officer and to be an example of an Iraqi woman as a policewoman,” Hajear says. “They are afraid when I leave home and come back, but I was trained how to protect myself. I am not afraid."...
Sarah says she is ready to challenge a society run by men, to prove that women are equals.
"Women had pressure on them, and [men] would never let [a woman] serve in the police. Now, we have [female government] ministers. With God's help, we are police officers. Maybe in the future, I will be president," Sarah says.
Friday, July 09, 2004
A CHANGING SOCIETY