• Baghdad

  • Thursday, January 11, 2024 at 8:20 AM
    Last Update : Monday, January 15, 2024 at 4:56 AM

“Daughters of Iraq” Demand Job Stability While Undertaking Major Security Responsibilities

(AWP) - Iraqi female security personnel are demanding permanent and stable working conditions in place of temporary contracts, as they have been taking on significant responsibilities within the police and army for the past 15 years to help achieve security across the country.

In recent years, scores of people have been killed in Iraq during suicide attacks at security checkpoints, carried out by women who refused to be searched by male army personnel.

However, the introduction of the security campaign known as “Daughters of Iraq” has helped to control these checkpoints and achieve tangible security stability.

Despite the dangerous mission assigned to them, and the threats and targeting they endure, many female security personnel continue to work within the army or the police on temporary contracts amid calls for more stability in their employment status.

Major General Tahseen al-Khafaji, Head of the Security Media Cell and Spokesman of the Joint Operations Command, said, “Most of them work as employees, whether in the [Ministries of] Interior or Defence. The majority are present in the interior ministry, especially in the field of inspections in sensitive locations such as shrines and places that require the presence of female personnel. A small number of them work on a contract basis, and their numbers increase, especially on religious occasions, but most of them are employees at the defence and interior ministries.”

To address the issue, a high-level committee from the Interior Ministry recently met with over 200 members of the “Daughters of Iraq” at the command headquarters in central Baqubah to proceed with measures to stabilise their employment as part of the new budget.

Spokesman of the Iraqi Interior Ministry, Brigadier General Miqdad Miri, said, “The role of women in the Ministry of Interior is significant and crucial. They are key partners in security. Today everyone knows that the majority of the population are women. During the millions of visits to religious destinations and events and across departments and institutions, the inspection of women by men is difficult, and some security duties require the involvement of a female.”

He added, “Therefore, the role of women is effective in the Ministry of Interior. The step was positive, and without women, you cannot achieve positive work results, especially when there is a security breach, so we sought to introduce a very large number of female officers and recruits into this field of work at the Ministry of Interior.”

Muntaha Razaq Tuaima, who works with the First Emergency Regiment in al-Kadhimain Holy Shrine, spoke of the challenges she faces at work, saying that “sometimes a visitor becomes angry and refuses to be searched, but we try to contain her anger and work to search her to ensure the safety of citizens and visitors.”

She added, “There have been cases of possession of large sums of money due to thefts, and some have been caught in possession of weapons with which they intended to kill, and others were carrying drugs, narcotics, and many other things.”

Lobna Khalaf Jabr, a Security Commissioner and Associate in al-Rasheed District, believes that the role of inspection is a “humanitarian profession above everything else”, saying that female security personnel are careful when welcoming and searching female visitors to Iraq’s holy shrines.

Jabr said, “Of course, we face challenges. For example, a female visitor may come and not want to be searched, and we do whatever it takes to search her.”

After years of delay, resolving the “Daughters of Iraq” situation has become an important issue, especially given that most of the women come from families who have been victims of bombings and terrorist attacks, and some of them confirm that they paid a high price for belonging to the security formations.