Abu Dhabi: The Arab world's first Women's Police Association was launched yesterday at the Police Officers Club in Abu Dhabi.

"The UAE is the first among the Arab countries to empower women and give them leadership roles in society," said First Lieutenant Amna Mohammad, President of the Emirati Women's Police Association (EWPA). "We have 8,000 Emirati women working in the Ministry of Interior and the police force across the UAE. Some of them have reached the highest positions and ranks."

The EWPA aims to enhance the role of Emirati women and their contributions to police work, and 250 have already joined it.

"We will focus on creating a healthy and positive professional environment that stimulates women's capabilities and leads to the highest productivity and the best way for women to serve their country," said Lt General Mohammad Bin Al Awadi Al Menhali, director general of human resources and acting director general of police operations.

"The association will meet to assess the potential for development, challenges and possible solutions to empower women at the administrative and security levels. We encourage fresh women graduates to join the force," he added.

"We will launch two annual awards — the ‘Ideal Police Mother Award' and the ‘Ideal Police Family Award' — to encourage high performance among women and instill a constant desire for self development."

Global conference

The first activity of the EWPA will be the first conference for global police women's associations, where 30 countries have been invited to join, including European and Middle Eastern countries.

"Twenty-five international associations of policewomen will attend the conference to be held in February. We will have five speakers from the Middle East associations and 24 papers presented mainly by women. The main guest speaker will be the president of the International Association of Women Police in the United States," Amna said.