CALGARY (Web Desk) – Women in The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, known as the Mounties, are now allowed to wear hijabs as part of uniform, the BBC reported.
The move is to reflect the diversity in Canada’s communities and to attract more female Muslim officers, Canadian government spokesman Scott Bardsley said Wednesday.
Recent figures show women make up about a fifth of the RCMP but it is not clear how many this measure will affect.
The iconic uniform, famed for its wide-brimmed hat, has barely changed since it was introduced two centuries ago.
The uniform, with its red serge tunic, leather riding boots and felt campaign hat, dates back to the 1800s – when mounted police were sent west to police American whisky traders.
Inspired by British military uniforms of the period, it has since only undergone minor changes.
The RCMP has become the third police force in Canada to add the hijab option after Toronto and Edmonton.
Sikh officers have been allowed to wear turbans since 1990.
Police in Sweden and Norway, and some US states, have adopted similar policies.
While the Metropolitan Police in London approved a uniform hijab more than 10 years ago.