Female police delegation from the Iraqi Ministry of Interior participates in knowledge visit to Amman, Jordan supported by the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Female Iraqi police are watchful eyes for rule of law
January 22, 2023
Gender equality in law enforcement is an essential element in protecting citizens, promoting the principles of equality, and the rule of law.
Domestic and Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) is a world-wide problem, including a widespread issue in Iraq. Enforcing the rule of law is a cornerstone of peacebuilding at the local level in Iraq and achieving a gender balance to address and prevent these cases helps to protect women and families from violence. Achieving this balance will also raise awareness on the importance of women's roles in public services and leadership positions.
UNDP Iraq supported a visit of 24 female police officers from across the Ministry of Interior in Iraq to learn about the role of female police within the Public Services Directorate of the Kingdom of Jordan, as well as participate in a knowledge exchange on Jordan's policies in response to domestic violence cases. The visit was made possible thanks to generous support from the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The visit lasted from 22 to 28 October 2022, and included commissioned, non – commissioned and civilian staff of the MOI. The first three days of the visit was focused on learning from the family protection and Juvenile Department and the Princess Basma Training Institute of Jordan.
The delegation received extensive information on Jordan’s policies and practices in responding to SGBV, including domestic violence against women and children and the integrated model of ensuring protection and prevention measures are simultaneously applied. The Family Protection and Juvenile Department of Jordan includes medical / para-medical staff, social workers, psychologists and first responders. Additionally, the department supports an extensive research division that conducts regular research on the root causes of domestic violence in families and leads awareness sessions among communities to tackle existing conditions that often lead to domestic violence.
“This was an excellent knowledge visit to Jordan. We have learned a lot from our sisters in Jordan on how they were able to build such an excellent Women Police Affairs Department that is involved in all policing activities. We can now review what aspects of family protection and SGBV responses can be strengthened in Iraq,” says Lt. Col. Nisreen Abdul-A’ima Shamkhi , Director of the Women's Affairs Section, Baghdad Police Directorate.
The Iraqi delegation also visited the Princess Basma Training Institute and learned about how Jordan was able to recruit female officers and how the role of women in the police force has been normalized among communities across Jordan. The Princess Basma Female Training Institute was established in 1978, and now houses the Women Police Affairs Department, and supports a large number of female police officers involved in criminal investigations, public prosecutors, women reform and rehabilitation centers, functioning as a leadership center for female officers to encourage uptake in senior positions within the Public Services Directorate.
“I think we have learned a lot from Jordan’s experience. We already have a Female Training Institute, and we can look at the creation of a Women’s Affairs Department for the entire police force in Iraq,” says Fatimah Kadhim Dakhil, Head of the Women's Committee, Federal Intelligence and Investigation Agency (FIIA).
During the last two days of the visit, delegation members reviewed existing policies of the Ministry of Interior to understand the gaps and challenges to implement comprehensive gender responsive reforms.
Capt. Aseel Abdul-Wahab Saleem, Assistant Director of the Women's Division at the Minister’s Office Community Policing Section, notes, “This workshop was very helpful to learn about how the role of women in police can be increased. The MOI is doing a lot to increase the role of women and this visit was good to give us more ideas on how to help our ministry achieve success, like in Jordan.”
Major Noor, Federal Investigations and Intelligence Agency (FIIA), says, “I came from a family of military officers and I was determined to join the police force in Iraq. One of my most memorable achievements was when I arrested a network of corrupt officials who were exploiting their positions and taking bribes from people. On our way out, I saw the public gathering and cheering. They blessed us and thanked us for our service to the nation. It was a proud moment for me. I always tell young women to join the police force as there is no better way that we can serve our country and our people. I am committed to working with the MOI to increase the role of women in the ministry so that we can serve the women and girls of Iraq.”
UNDP supports the Iraqi security sector as a critical element to establish long-term stability in Iraq and prevent the resurgence of conflict, through the Support to Security and Justice Sector Governance Programme.