Emarati Police - A Tribute
So I've been reading Forsoothsayer on widespread sexual harrassment of women in Cairo and the lack of interest to the point of complicity shown by the police force there. And I was catching up on The Sandmonkey's latest when I came across this comparing and contrasting with Dubai.
Well I have to say it's not just in Dubai. There is zero tolerance for any type of sexual harrassment in UAE which is something that deserves respect. Emarati police always show a lot of respect for women that manifests itself in many ways:
1) If a man harrasses a woman and she reports him, they arrest him first and ask questions later. If convicted, he gets up to 3 months in jail, followed with deportation if he is an expatriate. They also shave his head and print his photo in all the newspapers with a warning that he is a sex offender/harrasser.
2) If a man harrasses a woman and she DOESN'T report him but a plainclothes police officer notices, the same will happen to the man. Even if the woman declines to press charges for whatever reason, it is still a punishable crime.
3) The above has an effect that trickles down to every level of society. I've had men refuse to get into the lift with me if I'm alone because they're scared I might turn out to be a religious prude and report them for harrassing/offending me or something.
Owners of most public places are so scared of trouble with the police that they show no tolerance for harrassment either. Even in clubs, if a man harrasses you and you report him, he'll be kicked out and won't be allowed back in while the bouncers can still remember his face.
Sometimes this policy gets a bit obssessive and there is outright discrimination against groups of single guys as opposed to couple or families. I've seen guys -especially teenagers - get kicked out of a restaurant, mall or coffee shop without having done anything just because the manager thinks they look like they're out to watch girls and they might offend the couples or the families. I think this has something to do with the fact that couples/families tend to have more money to spend than teenagers though.
4) If a woman is pulled over for speeding or some other traffic violation, they let her go unpunished after politely requesting that she try not to do it again. That happens 75% of the time. I know what I'm talking about because I speed a lot. They have a positive aversion to arresting/fining or otherwise initiating legal procedures against women or bringing a woman to a courthouse or a police station. They will do anything to avoid that.
5) If a woman is standing waiting for a cab and there's a police car or motorcycle nearby, no cab driver will dare not stop for her. If he doesn't, they chase him and bring him back. If a man is waiting for a cab, the police usually let him fend for himself.
6) The police extend this protection to all women, whether they're local, expatriate, veiled, unveiled etc....They even extend it to prostitutes sometimes. It's nice to see an Arabic police force protecting women instead of judging them.
Now I'm not saying UAE is paradise. It is still a Middle Eastern country with it's share of problems....All I'm saying is that inspite of all that, the dominant trend is towards making the country safe for women. Which is cool.