Relaxing Policy: Canada’s Mounties allow women in uniform to wear hijabs

Relaxing Policy: Canada’s Mounties allow women in uniform to wear hijabs


The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, referred to as the Mounties, is to permit girls in uniform to wear hijabs.

Authorities spokesman Scott Bardsley said the move was to reflect the diversity in the communities of Canada and to attract more female Muslim policemen.

The iconic uniform, renowned because of its wide-brimmed hat, has hardly changed since it was introduced two centuries past.

Three types of hijabs were analyzed before one was chosen as appropriate local media reported.

According to the Montreal newspaper La Presse, an internal memo said the hijab could be removed easily and quickly did not encumber officers, and if needed.

The policy was introduced softly before in 2013, though no requests prompted it from officers, in accordance with the AFP agency.

Some 30 policemen had asked for a relaxing of the rules for spiritual or cultural motives within the last two years, La Presse reported.

Generally, the requests were from male policemen desiring to grow beards.

Sikh officers have been permitted to wear turbans since 1990.

The uniform, felt campaign hat and with its red serge tunic, leather riding boots, dates back to the 1800s – when mounted police were sent west to police American whisky traders.

Inspired by British military uniforms of the period, it’s since only undergone minor changes.

The RCMP has become the third police force in Canada to add the option that is hijab after Toronto and Edmonton.

Authorities in Sweden and Norway, and some US states, have adopted similar policies, Mr Bardsley said.

The Metropolitan Police in London approved an uniform hijab more than 10 years past.