Coalition Officers Train Iraqi Policewomen
The insurgency in Iraq has shown a willingness to use women as sacrificial bombers in repeat attacks against Iraqi security and Coalition forces. There have been four or more suicide attacks in Diyala province, with at least three of those four being done by female suicide bombers.
In response to this and to try and prevent future female suicide bombings, there is a new effort by military policewomen to reach out and make contact with female Iraqi citizens. Members of the 202nd Military Police Company are beginning to work with Iraqi females and the results are promising. Military Police Females are instructing Iraqi Female Soldiers on methods of search and seizure.
“We face large differences in culture between American values and the values held by women here in Iraq,” said Captain Mary Newell, Commander of the 202nd Military Police Unit. “We have to remember that it is not appropriate for women to search men, or for men to search women for weapons,” stated Captain Newell.
Female suicide bombers are a relatively new tactic, and so the new attempt to deal with it is also new. Female Military police members teach Iraqi Army women and female volunteers how to conduct female-to-female searches, and how to maintain dignity while conducting such searches.
The Military Policewomen are instructing their Iraqi counterparts how to deal with explosives or weapons and how to use a search wand. “I am learning a lot from this training, and it is valuable to know how to search while respecting the dignity of the person being searched,” said Sergeant Nahida Latif Aziz. Aziz is a female member of the Iraqi National police, and one of the ladies undergoing training with the female MP unit.