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Lebanese mayor commands policewomen to wear shorts to attract Western tourists

/ 07:13 PM July 10, 2018

Image: Screengrab from Instagram/brummanacity

The local government of Brummana, a small city in Lebanon, issued new summer uniforms for policewomen consisting of red berets, black t-shirts and black shorts — apparently in the hopes of attracting more Western tourists.

“We in Lebanon want to change the bleak picture of Lebanon in the West,” explained mayor Pierre Achkar, as reported by RT’s Ruptly on June 22. The mayor further claimed that the change in the policewomen’s uniform intends to boost tourism coming in from the West.

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“Ninety-nine percent of the tourists in the Mediterranean region wear shorts,” reportedly said the mayor in defense of his order.

“We came willingly to this work and we have accepted it with enthusiasm and we still hope that it will return in every summer season,” Samata Saad, one of the newly recruited policewomen, said in the report.

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Achkar’s order roused mixed reactions from locals and foreigners. Others pointed out that his way of attracting tourists by using beautiful policewomen was wrong, as stated in the report. Some noted that the uniform for policemen was not changed in any way.

One netizen, Laudy Issa, openly called out Achkar’s order: “Brummana recruited policewomen. And they dressed them like that. Look at what their male counterparts are wearing. Are these women supposed to help keep the safety of the city or be the touristic attractions in it?”

“If it’s unclear, it’s a great initiative to engage more women in municipalities,” continued Issa in another tweet. “The only problem is that they’re clearly not in standard police uniforms but are being exploited [and] sexualized by their employers. If my reasoning is actually anti-feminist in some way, let me know.”

The official Instagram page of Brummana shared the photo of the policewomen last June 17. “Our latest recruits. #InspiringBrummana,” said the post.

View this post on Instagram

Our latest recruits. #InspiringBrummana

A post shared by Brummana (@brummanacity) on

The fact that the comment section in the Instagram post was turned off didn’t stop netizens in voicing out their opinion on the directive.

Image: Screengrab from Facebook/Brummana

Image: Screengrab from Facebook/Brummana

Image: Screengrab from Facebook/Brummana

In a BBC report about the directive, which the town’s FB page posted, the mayor declared, “Everybody’s happy.” Kate Matriano/JB

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TAGS: Brummana, Lebanese policewomen, Lebanon, Sexism, sexual objectification, workplace sexism
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