A new strategy is being drawn up to encourage Bahraini women to join the military. It is part of a unified Gulf blueprint that was approved on November 30th during the GCC Military Women's Conference, which was held at the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea and Spa, said a report in Gulf Daily News.
Experts and senior officials from the Army, Police and National Guard from across the GCC took part in the one-day conference, which was held under the patronage of HRH Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of HRM King Hamad and Supreme Council for Women (SCW) President.
The participants also agreed to hold annual meetings for female Police Directors, form a specialised military women's database and a general directorate at the GCC General Secretariat to co-ordinate work carried out by policewomen.
The conference, part of celebrations marking Bahraini Women's Day, was organised by the SCW in co-ordination with the Interior and Defence Ministries. This year's celebrations are being held under the theme “Women in the Military Sector”.
“This year's theme has been chosen to highlight the role of Bahraini women over the past 40 years in the military sector,” said SCW Secretary-General Dr. Hala Al Ansari.
“Bahraini women have achieved high ranks and posts and it is not just within local establishments, but amongst the GCC as experiences are being shared and the biggest example is the formation of the Kuwaiti Women Police in 2008,” she added.
“Women in Bahrain have also reached unprecedented heights in all fields amongst other Arab countries, especially in combating terrorism and human trafficking, and their presence at airports, investigations, public security and guards,” she concluded.
Among the participants who presented research papers were Saudi-based Nayef Arabian University for Security Sciences international co-operation director Dr. Saqr Al Moqayed, Bahrain Interior Ministry women Police Director Colonel Mona Abdulraheem and BDF Hospital Director Badriya Salman Salem.
The experts also agreed on enhancing training to allow women to enter new fields such as military aviation and media.
Meanwhile, former Adviser of the Interior Ministry and Bahrain's first Policewoman Retired Brigadier Awatif Al Jishi said Policewomen were initially recruited to handle cases involving women and juveniles.
However, in the last 40 years, Bahraini female officers have tapped into all ranks and departments of the Police force, including the aviation sector, the Criminal Investigation Directorate, Special Forces and the Traffic Directorate, she said.
“In the beginning, there were too many cases because of the small number of female staff. Now that the number has increased there is a more realistic workload and that has resulted in a lot of success and progress,” she added.