Iraq Re-Arms Female Cops
International criticism and objection within ministry overturn Nov. 14 order
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2008 4:28 PM CST

(Newser) – Iraq's female police officers can carry weapons again. The government has overturned an order requiring them to hand in their guns after much criticism from women's activists and the US, the Los Angeles Times reports. An Interior Ministry spokesman said few had complied with the 2-month-old order anyway, but those that did have gotten their guns back.

Iraqi officials put the order in place because they said female officers often gave their guns to male family members, an accusation disputed by many officers. Despite the new ruling, the integration of women into the police force still has a long way to go, said a US general. "I have never seen any of the over 1,000-plus female Iraqi police performing law enforcement duty," he said. "They are relegated to administrative roles."