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Lebanese Policewomen Have A Kinky New Uniform & It’s Tourists’ Fault

Your internet history or your life.

When you think of Middle Eastern authorities, “hot pants” probably doesn’t spring to mind. Pierre Achkar, the mayor of Broumana (a Lebanese mountain town overlooking Beirut and the Mediterranean) plans to change that.

According to Nine News, Achkar, “Hatched a plan to recruit young, attractive women as traffic cops, in an odd bid to improve the nation’s image…. Not only that, but he’s making them wear red berets and tiny black hot-pants,” as they direct traffic along the high-street.

“We in Lebanon want to change the bleak picture of Lebanon in the West,” (Ruptly).

According to The Economist, “Rich tourists from the Gulf, who spend big and stay long, no longer holiday in his (Achkar’s) mountain town.” For this reason, the mayor wants, “Tourists from the West to plug the gap.”

“People in the West don’t visit Lebanon because they think it’s a country of Islamic extremism,” explains Mr Achkar (reported by The Economist). “We want to show that we have the same way of life as the West. You wear shorts and we wear shorts. We have democracy. Our women are free.”

Policewoman Samata Saad said: “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,” (Nine News), while newly badged 19-year-old Chloe Khalife, “Says she is an example of Lebanon’s open society,” (The Economist).

Although the policewomen interviewed were ostensibly happy with the changes, some have questioned why the mayor is only interested in attracting heterosexual men (and lesbians) with a fetish for short shorts (the male police uniform has stayed the same).

“It’s a cheap PR exercise that only serves as a reminder of how far from equality, rights and respect we really are” (Lina Abirafeh, director of the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World said, reported by The Economist).

As Lebanese religious courts make it difficult for women to leave violent husbands, allow girls as young as nine to marry, prevent women from passing on their nationality to their children and do not consider sexual harassment a crime, the notion that hot pants are a mark of an open society is tokenistic at best.

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