New Zealand police have added a hijab to its official uniform for the first time.
The specially made hijab, created from a technical sports fabric, is close fitting, with no loose or flapping fabric and a quick release fastening system for safety reasons, a NZ Police spokesperson told Almost.
The headscarf took 16 months to design and implement, with police consulting Muslim women and other international police services and working with a university’s Fashion Design School to design and refine the product, the spokesperson said.
They also worked with 30-year-old Constable Zeena Ali, the first officer to wear the police-issued hijab, on trialling different materials and styles and offering recommendations, NZ Herald reported.
“It was when I was just training to get into police that the Christchurch terror attack happened, and if I was a fully-fledged constable then I would have gone down to support the victims and their families,” Ali said.
“Having a police-branded hijab means women, who may not have previously considered policing can do so now. It’s great how the Police incorporated my religion and culture.”