First Palestinian policewomen deployed to direct West Bank traffic

Palestinian pedestrians gawked at the unusual sight of women directing chaotic Ramallah traffic on Wednesday, the first batch of women to venture into a job traditionally reserved for Palestinian men in the West Bank. The women, dressed in uniforms of navy blue pants and light blue shirts, directed traffic and ordered people to use white-striped crosswalks in the center of town, an area crammed with honking cars and pedestrians. Many of the women also topped their uniforms with navy blue headscarves, a sign of Muslim modesty. The women belonged to the first class of Palestinian policewomen who recently complete a European Union-sponsored training program, part of a broader EU makeover of the demoralized and ill-equipped Palestinian law enforcement agencies. Their duties include traffic patrols, house searches and security checks on women at prisons and institutions like universities.