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New Zealand Police Department Introduces A Hijab As Part Of Their Uniform To Encourage More Muslim Women To Join The Police Force. It’s All About Inclusivity

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New Zealand is one of my dream countries to live in. It’s right below Finland, in fact. It’s beautiful, scenic and the government, led by Jacinda Ardern, is making strides towards equality. The thing is, all around the world, it’s tough to be a woman. Of course, that wasn’t a secret. But in a country like New Zealand, it’s a little easier because they clearly believe in inclusivity and empowerment. Like recently, New Zealand police introduced a hijab as part of their uniform to encourage more Muslim women to join the force. India really needs to take notes. 

Constable Zeena Ali is New Zealand’s first to wear a specially designed hijab as part of her uniform. The 30-year-old police officer was inspired to join the police force after the brutal Christchurch terror attack last year in which 51 people were killed at two mosques in New Zealand. 

This week, she will not only graduate and assume her role as a police officer but also be the first to wear the hijab as part of her uniform. Not only that, but Zeena was also part of the team that designed the hijab to make it more comfortable for Muslim women. She worked with the police to ensure the design is functional for her role as a police officer and considerate of her religion. We love this. 

In an Instagram post shared by the New Zealand police department, Zeena talks about how proud she was to wear and help design the hijab. She said, “It feels great to be able to go out and show the New Zealand Police uniform hijab because I was able to take part in the design process.” 

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The hijab was introduced as part of the police uniform to encourage more Muslim women to join the New Zealand police force. Even Zeena believes that this move will be a huge encouragement for more Muslim women to sign up. She said, “Having a police-branded hijab means women, who may not have previously considered policing, can do so now. It’s great how the police incorporated my religion and culture.” 

It really is amazing how the New Zealand police have made such huge efforts at inclusivity. It’s not only the hijab’s but the Royal New Zealand Police College staff also organized a prayer room and halal meals in the cafeteria. In fact, according to Zeena, while she in police training, the college even let her wear long sleeves while swimming. 

All these changes are being made so Muslim women feel more comfortable to opt for a career in policing. Zeena said that more Muslim women need to be able to come out and help the community but they are terrified. She said, “We need more Muslim women to help in the community, most of them are too scared to talk to the police and would probably shut the front door if a man turned up to talk to them. If we have more women turning up, a more diverse front line, then we can reduce more crime.” 

Unlike in a lot of other countries, New Zealand and its police force value diversity. And including a hijab in their police uniform is a great start. After all, the path leading up to equality is all about inclusivity. India’s police department really need to take some notes and act in a similar fashion. Don’t you think?

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