RCMP now allowing hijabs as part of uniform

Laura Payton, Ottawa News Bureau
CTV News | August 24, 2016

The RCMP is now letting officers wear hijabs as part of their uniform, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale confirmed Wednesday.

The move is intended to encourage Muslim women to consider the RCMP as a career option, Scott Bardsley said in an email.

“The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is a progressive and inclusive police service that values and respects persons of all cultural and religious backgrounds,” Bardsley wrote.

RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson approved the change “recently,” according to the statement from Goodale’s office.

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The RCMP says it currently has no members requesting to wear the hijab on duty.

Despite the lack of demand, a spokeswoman for the National Council of Canadian Muslims says the change will make a difference for Muslim women who may see the RCMP as a career option.

“Bringing down this potential barrier will certainly make it easier for women to consider joining the RCMP as a professional choice,” Amira Elghawaby said.

The decision to offer the head scarf, Elghawaby said, also underscores the need for the RCMP to ensure they’re recruiting from various communities across Canada.

“This sends very strong signal to diverse communities and specifically to women that their choice of dress will not be a barrier.”

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