Few media images have captured the impressive strides Saudi Arabia has made toward the empowerment of women and gender equality since 2016 like the recent photos of a smartly uniformed female security officer guiding Umrah pilgrims in Makkah during Ramadan.
Dozens of female officers are currently deployed both in Makkah and Madinah, where they are providing security and managing worshippers at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque.
The 113-strong all-female batch of military-trained officers stationed at the Prophet’s Mosque was created six months ago. It is part of the homeland security branch of Saudi Arabia’s Special Security Forces. The officers work round the clock in four teams of nearly 18 members each.
Their job, according to a statement by Major-General Abdul Rahman Al-Mashhan, director of the Madinah Police, is to watch over and assist pilgrims performing Umrah.