John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York
This research stems from ethnographic observations in 2005 and 2006 of the women’s sections of
police stations in Bahrain. It uncovered details of a larger social and economic problem in the
Arabian Gulf countries involving the unique legal status of the female expatriate guest workers.
Housemaids or former housemaids formed the majority of female defendants who were ethnographically observed at Bahrain’s local police stations. Observations revealed that this refl ected an overall trend of criminalization of domestic worker-related labour disputes. This research presents the types of cases observed and discusses the women police as agents of social control whose job involves handling a larger socio-economic problem at the backend, through policing.
British Journal of Criminology