Asmaa Al Hameli | October 23, 2013
A few months ago, there was a road accident next to our office building. I was asked to collaborate with one of my colleagues to get details of the accident. When we arrived at the scene, the police officer did not want to reveal anything to us.
My colleague, a Canadian woman, and I looked like a couple of high school students. I thought this might be the reason he frowned when he saw us. My colleague then asked me to approach the officer alone and try to get the details. When I started conversing with him, he spilt the beans.
Sometimes, being an Emirati is like being a queen. Wherever we go in the UAE, women in many cases, get special treatment. I appreciate the country’s lenience toward women, but not always, especially when it comes to traffic rules.
I have heard and observed that women sometimes get away with outrageous behaviour on the roads. The story told to me by a close female relative (we’ll call her H) is the most recent example.
H, along with her three children, got lost on one of the flyovers in Abu Dhabi. It was her first time in that empty area. When she saw there was no trace of humans or cars, she started reversing her car on the flyover. A few minutes later, while she continued moving backward, BAM, the police materialized out of nowhere catching her dumbfounded.
A very confident officer knocked on the tinted window to find out – behold! – it’s a woman. The officer moved three steps backward as though he saw a ghost.
After recovering from the shock, he took two steps forward and said: “I thought you’d be a man”. He scolded and let her go with a warning.
Her driving license was not confiscated and she did not get a fine.
On another occasion, the same woman told the story of driving away from a police car that was following her for speeding. The police chased her until she stopped and again the same cycle occurred. When she came out of the car, the police officer was speechless.
A few minutes later, he told her: “I swear, I thought you’re a man”. He kept repeating that line until he gained his composure.
Again, she got away with her bad act.
I am grateful that we have respectful police officers. But some women I know are taking advantage of this lenience.
When it comes to crime, the response should be fair and just because such behaviour is putting other people’s lives in danger.