No guns for girls…go cook or something

Iraqi policewomen are told to surrender their weapons

Just another sign of how far Iraq has to go:

The Iraqi government has ordered all policewomen to hand in their guns for redistribution to men or face having their pay withheld, thwarting a U.S. initiative to bring women into the nation’s police force.

The Interior Ministry, which oversees the police, issued the order late last month, according to ministry documents, U.S. officials and several of the women. It affects all officers who have earned the title “policewoman” by graduating from the police academy. It does not apply to men in the same type of jobs.

This is pretty ridiculous. Womens’ rights is one of the major stumbling blocks in the Middle East. Well, okay, it’s a stumbling block everywhere. But especially in the Middle East.

I noted women in the Iraqi security forces a while back and that this trouble with US-led initiatives to integrate women into the security forces was facing an uphill battle.

One thing I’d also like to point out is the sentence following the section I quoted above:

Critics say the move is the latest sign of the religious and cultural conservatism that has taken hold in Iraq since Saddam Hussein’s ouster ushered in a government dominated by Shiite Muslims.

Now, I understand the concern over fundamentalism and such, but the way that sentence is written makes it sound like the problem of too few female police officers is one that’s popped up since Hussein’s “ouster”.

Oooh nooo. Now that Saddam is gone the big bad Shiites are making things unfair in Iraq. What a bunch of meanies.

Must be Bush’s fault that female Iraqi police officers aren’t getting a fair shake.


  1. Hey, what if the US lent the women new pistols, with the idea that they will have to return them someday. That way, they couldn’t be asked to turn them in to the ministry, since they don’t own them.

  2. I guess it is easier for me to accept because I’m not overly enthusiastic about the number of Women on police forces in the US. There is significant empirical data that suggests it’s not such a good idea. Be that as it may…who the heck do we think we are telling them who they may or may not employ as armed police officers? Is it their country or just a puppet of ours? Trying to force them to completely accept western society’s mores will do nothing but foster resentment and resistance. We’re not talking about a gross injustice here…this is nothing more than enforcing a standard that, up until very recent history, was the accepted norm throughout the world.

  3. It was stupid to remove Saddam from power. Just one more Katrina moment for the Bush administration. There have been so many…

  4. Sailorcurt, I’d have written a response to your shortsightedness in this space, but Murdoc did it much more elequently in his follow-up than I could have done. There are some things that we, as human beings, should not tolerate in the world, and that is oppression of people in significant ways, such as those that put their lives in jeopardy because they lack something like Y chromosomes.