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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