Bahrain's Women Police: 50 Years of Service to Combat GBV
Bahraini women police have also been instrumental in Bahrain’s success in fighting crimes against children and women. Bahraini policewomen were also critical to the founding of a female team at the Royal Guard of the Bahrain Defense Force.
Policewomen in Bahrain have been serving the community and have ensured the protection of all citizens of Bahrain, especially women, children, and youth for the last 50 years. My story is proof that women can play a significant role in serving the country for the common good. I am sharing this story to inspire women and to motivate young minds to do the same and to lead.
I am a proud Bahraini policewoman, sworn to serve and protect the citizens and residents of the Kingdom of Bahrain. My desire and strong determination to become a policewoman began with my sociology lessons in secondary schools, where the topic of juvenile care ignited my passion for protecting and caring for youth, children, and women who are at risk.
Right after graduation from University, I joined the Women's Police Force in Bahrain. I immediately joined the Juvenile Care Centre as a specialist, and I served in this capacity for over 24 years. As a specialist, I ensured the facilitation and implementation of effective programs for incarcerated youth (both male and female), aiming to improve their education, strengthen their social and athletic capabilities, teach them professional skills to aid them upon release, promote psychological wellness and health, and provide fun and creative activities. These measures ensured not only their smooth integration in society, but also encourage them to become better individuals living happy and contented lives. Through these initiatives, the youth have set important goals, and they see tomorrow as a great opportunity to work hard and succeed.
In 1994, I toured the United Kingdom’s Juvenile Centres, Women’s Prisons, and Child Protection Centres to learn from them and to share Bahrain's experience as well. I took part in international discussions, such as the Interpol team meetings about fighting crimes against children in Lyon, France, as well as a conference on Women Police in Barcelona, Spain. These experiences have helped me advance my career in the police to address challenges from gender-based violence to youth incarceration.
My promotion to Director-General of Women Police in 2016 has provided me the opportunity to bring changes across the entire women's police services in Bahrain. My country was among the first Arab countries to allow female police in 1970. As Bahraini women police celebrates 50 years of service this year, I can confidently say that we pioneered women policing in the Gulf and continue to innovate effective changes in the care for women, children, and youth.
Bahraini women police were critical to the founding of the Women Police Force in Kuwait from 2008 to 2012, and I served as a police training advisor in the formation of this force. Bahraini women police have also been instrumental in Bahrain’s success in fighting crimes against children and women. Bahraini policewomen were also critical to the founding of a female team at the Royal Guard of the Bahrain Defense Force.
Bahrain has seen female police personnel appointed to top positions and many have obtained high ranks in the Ministry of Interior. This will only continue to grow. The success of female police in Bahrain have attracted regional, Arab, and international groups to seek cooperation and collaboration efforts with the Kingdom of Bahrain. This has also afforded policewomen the opportunity to attend international trainings and attract trainers from all over the world.
No matter how hard it will be in the beginning, or how difficult the consequences may be, if you truly care about other people’s welfare and think of what’s best for everyone, you will move society forward. Working hand in hand, men and women in uniform, united as one, we will surely bring success to the country and to its citizens and help address the challenges our society faces.
This blog series is part of the Wilson Center series exploring the many facets of gender-based violence around the world, in parallel with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence that runs from November 25 – December 10, 2020.
About the Author
Middle East Program
The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program serves as a crucial resource for the policymaking community and beyond, providing analyses and research that helps inform U.S. foreign policymaking, stimulates public debate, and expands knowledge about issues in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Read more
Middle East Women's Initiative
The Middle East Women's Initiative (MEWI) promotes the empowerment of women in the region through an open and inclusive dialogue with women leaders from the Middle East and continuous research. Read more