ABU DHABI ø Bahrain has become the first Gulf Cooperation Council
state to promote women to a senior rank in the military.
Officials said Bahrain has promoted women officers in a range of
administrative and non-combat roles. They said women have been recruited and
promoted both in the military and Defense Ministry.
So far, two women have risen to the rank of colonel. Both serve in
Bahrain's military and work as department heads.
Both of the women were physicians who have served in the Bahraini
military hospital. Dr. Aisha Mubarak Jaber and Dr. Moza Rashid Ahmed joined
10 male officers in a promotion ceremony on May 11. Ms. Jaber serves as
chief doctor and radiology chief while Dr. Ahmed heads the maternity
department of the 400-bed facility.
"This is the first time in BDF [Bahrain Defense Force] history that we
have women holding the rank of colonel," Salman Bin Atiyatallah Al Khalifa,
commander of military medical services, said.
Bahrain's police has a women colonel as well. Col. Awatef Al Jishi,
commander of the Women Police Directorate, reached her current rank in 2001.
Officials said women would continue to rise in the military and police
hierarchy in Bahrain. But they stressed that women in the military would not
play a role in combat.