The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have a distinct uniform, and now that uniform will also include hijabs.
In a move for inclusivity and to respect all cultural and religious backgrounds, the RCMP has approved hijabs as part of the uniform for Muslim women.
“The Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police recently approved this addition to the uniform to allow female members of the Muslim faith to wear a hijab if they so choose,” confirmed Scott Bardsley, Press Secretary at Office of the Minister of Public Safety, in an email to Daily Hive.
“This is intended to better reflect the diversity in our communities and encourage more Muslim women to consider the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as a career option.”
Sergeant Julie Gagnon of RCMP National Communication Services said there are currently no members requesting to wear the hijab on duty, but females of Muslim faith have been officially able to wear the hijab since the choice to wear it was officially adopted by the RCMP in January 2016.
“The RCMP approved the hijab as a uniform option in consultation with RCMP Occupational Health and Safety, and the Uniform and Equipment Program,” Gagnon said. “The RCMP-issued hijab has undergone rigorous testing to ensure the design meets the highest standards of officer safety.”
— RCMP (@rcmpgrcpolice) May 2, 2016
In response to the RCMP’s decision, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) released a statement welcoming the newly added uniform.
“This decision by the Mounties, as Canada’s national police service, is a welcome one and a natural evolution for Canadian policing that follows similar moves in the private sector as well as in other police services across the country,” said NCCM Communications Director Amira Elghawaby.
“While in 1990 there was initial reluctance to allow Sikh RCMP officers to wear the turban as part of their uniforms, Canadians have since embraced the change and we expect that this will be the same with the decision to allow the hijab.”
According to Bardsley, male RCMP members of Sikh faith have been able to wear the turban as part of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police uniform since the early 90s.
The move to include hijabs is not a first for Canada. The Toronto and Edmonton police services have adopted similar practices whilst police services across the United Kingdom, Sweden and Norway, as well as some US states also include the hijab as part of their uniform.