Women Municipal Police “Strength and hope to accomplish equality in the society”Dec 6, 2017
(Tuesday, 28th of November 2017) With the support of the Embassy of Canada to Lebanon and UNHCR, and in coordination with the municipalities of Burj Hammoud and Zahle – UNDP in Lebanon launched the Female Municipal Police Exhibition this week in districts of Burj Hammoud and Zahle.
The Exhibition aims to promote the inclusion of women in municipal police across the municipalities in Lebanon as most municipalities have little or no women in their municipal police forces. The inclusion of women in municipal police is seen as an important tool in promoting gender equality amongst the society, and a better reflection of society as a whole; but also to promote a police that is servicing the population.
“Change starts with you – with more municipalities taking concrete steps to hire and promote women in their administration; and with more women knocking on the door of their municipality,” said UNDP Country Director Celine Moyroud during the Exhibition at Zahle.
During the Burj Hammoud Exhibition, Burj Hammoud Mayor, Mardig Boghossian, expressed his desire and countless efforts to increase female participation in the Municipal Police. “In the Armenian language, there is no gender separation, we use the same words for both genders because we believe in equality,” said Mayor Boghossian in his opening speech.
Besides, having women in the municipal police helps municipalities better engaging with the population, and cater to the differentiated needs of vulnerable groups.
“Women municipal police officers bring a critical diversity and dynamic to the police force, and their inclusion is a vital component of the team,” stated UNHCR Deputy Regional Representative Karolina Billing.
The Exhibition taking place in Burj Hammoud and Zahle, and later in El Mina, aims to encourage municipal officials across Lebanon to recruit women in municipal police. It also promotes the idea throughout the local society as a whole, and sensitizes local people on the role women play in police force.
“Women are frequently excluded from police force and from security forces in general, and for that reason I am delighted to hear that municipalities are going forward with include women in their police force,” stated the Canadian Ambassador to Lebanon Emanuelle Lamoureux.
The Exhibitions includes a photo display of women in municipal police, as well as audio-visual documentary screenings. Separate documentaries have been produced per municipality, which include testimonies from Mayors, municipal police and interviews with the local population on the idea of having women in municipal police.
“I joined the municipal police because it was a new idea for women to represent the law. We often see men representing the law, and men in the uniform, this is new,” added Nancy, another municipal police in Burj Hammoud.
Denise, a municipal police in Zahle, stated that being a woman municipal police “gives you strength and hope to accomplish equality in the society.”
The Exhibition will also be held in the Municipality of Mina starting the 5th of December 2017.