Female cop class unprecedented in Iraq
KIRKUK, Iraq (UPI) -- An unprecedented number of Iraqi women have started training to become police officers at the Kirkuk Police Academy, officials say.
The 37 female recruits who began their training Saturday are the first women at the academy in a year and their numbers are unprecedented, the American Forces Press Service reported Monday.
An academy officer said female officers are badly needed because Muslim customs do not allow men to touch women. The female officers will allow searches of women at checkpoints and government buildings, he said.
In addition, the academy officer said, "women think differently than men. They will bring fresh ideas to how we conduct business."
For the recruits, becoming a police officer is both a chance to earn a good wage and to serve their country. They hold no truck with terrorists.
"Terrorists are not welcome in the province of Kirkuk," said one 29-year-old recruit who goes by the name Intesar. "They are not Iraqis; they are not Muslim. It is not our way. They are mad."
An Iraqi police recruit earns about 185,000 Iraqi dinars monthly -- about $81 in U.S. currency -- and after graduating will make 500,000 dinar -- about $360.
The female recruits must meet the same standards as men to graduate.
Copyright 2008 by United Press International