Zongo Minister condemns dissemination against hijab

Dr Mustapha Hamid Minister of  Inner City and Zongo Development addressing the press.Photo.Ebo GormanThe Minister of Inner Cities and Zongo Development, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid has condemned the recurring discrimination against Muslim females who wear hijab to work.

A hijab is a veil worn by some Muslim women usually covering the head and chest to conform to Islamic standards of modesty.

According to the minister the ordering of the nurses, in particular, to remove their Hijab often perpetuated by senior nurses and supervisors were clear violations of their constitutional rights and must be stopped.

Dr Abdul-Hamid expressed worry that despite cautions from the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service to senior medical staff to stop such practice, more cases of discrimination were recorded daily.

“Every day I get complain from nurses that their senior nurses and supervisors tell them to remove their hijab otherwise they should go home,” he revealed at the Meet the Press series in Accra on Tuesday.

The minister also an Islamic cleric pointed out that the right of the Muslims, supported by Article 21 clause 1c states that every citizen of Ghana shall have the right to profess their religion of his or her choice and manifest it.

He explained that the wearing of the hijab was one of the ways female Muslims manifested their right to religion and must be respected by all to promote unity in diversity.

“Now I want these nursing supervisors and so on to tell me how else you can identify a Muslim woman, how else a Muslim woman can manifest her Islamism,” he queried.

“How do we identify a soldier or an immigration officer without his uniform? We call somebody an immigration officer or soldier because of their uniform, it is as simple as that,” he stated.

He narrated a recent issue at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital where a female nurse was demoted for wearing her hijab and threatened with letters at her new posts.

He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was uncompromising as far as the integration is concerned and does not want discrimination of any sort especially on the basis of gender and religion.

This is not the first time the debate of whether or not to allow Muslim women to wear hijab to work or not has been stirred but the Ministry of Health has maintained that hijab wearing was not against any breach of any regulation.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

 

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