Women police officers lead the way in Jordan
Jordan has set an unprecedented standard for women’s rights in the Middle East, and was the first Arab state to induct women officers into its police force.
In the capital, Amman, the Women’s Police Academy has been training women for nearly four decades.
The country has been hit with criticism in the past for its stance on women’s rights, and permitted women to vote beginning only in 1974. Since then, major achievements have been made in the quest to involve women in social, political and economic issues.
Recruiting female police officers is an example of the increased active role of women in society.
“More are becoming open minded concerning women's roles in public security and in the Jordanian government, and under the rule of His Majesty King Abdullah II. They come to the policewomen's institute to receive training to keep up with the times, so women can be alongside men in the field,” said Sergeant Seham al-Masha'alleh, who trains the new recruits.
Graduates of the academy have been employed as traffic policewomen, celebrity bodyguards, and even special security operation officers.
The academy accepted only six female officers when it was first established.
The number of recruits stands at more than 3,000 now – a clear indication of the developments of the security sector in the country.
Seargent Seham al-Masha'alleh - trainer