News: USD-C Soldiers hold special event for female Iraqi Police officers
Story by Sgt. Kimberly Johnson
BAGHDAD—Soldiers with the Baghdad Police Advisory Team conducted a beauty product distribution to female Iraqi Police officers, Jan. 29, at the Provincial Directorate of Police in Baghdad.
It is not out of the ordinary for the BPAT soldiers to give assistance to their Iraqi police counterparts, but this event was solely for female IP officers.
Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, Soldiers with the BPAT and the 94th Military Police Company, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – Center e-mailed their Famliy and friends asking for donated beauty products to sponsor the giveaway.
“It goes beyond make-up and beauty products,” said Capt. Armando Carbajal, operations officer with the BPAT and a Phoenix native. “I look at it as a community outreach the BPAT had the opportunity to do. I see the way the Iraqi female police officers and female civilians look up to our American female soldiers. So we wanted to show that we see the importance of integrating more females into the IP.”
He said even though there are more and more women being incorporated into the Iraqi police force, they work for lower wages than males.
One female IP officer, who received a gift bag full of beauty products and makeup, said she has enjoyed working with the American soldiers since she joined the police force. She said her instructor was a male soldier and he showed her respect—the same respect the Americans show their female soldiers—and it made her feel good.
Having females in the IP is something new to the organization. Now there are men and women working side-by-side and facing threats.
“Currently, it’s dangerous to be an IP officer in this country, especially in Baghdad,” Carbajal said. “Because, not only is it the province capital, it’s the nation’s capital. Having women in the IP shows the democratic form of what the government of Iraq is now, and that alone makes them a target for attacks. Even in the U.S., police work, by nature, can be dangerous.
“With all the changes going on right now in this country, integrating more female police officers tells this society, in general, that there are equal rights and promotes respect of equal rights between men and women. Any job a man can do, a woman should be able to try it too.”