We from the Muslimah Mentorship Network (MMN) together with other concerned citizens and organizations in Ghana with an interest in protecting and promoting issues of gender, inclusion, intersectionality and social justice, collectively charge the government of Ghana to take a sustainable action against the recurring discrimination and marginalization of Muslim ladies who choose to wear the hijab.
The several actions of state institutions, individuals and other private entities against Muslim women is in breach of their fundamental human rights as stated in Art 17 (1 and 2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which states 17(1) “all persons shall be equal before the law” & 17(2) “a person shall not be discriminated against on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, RELIGION, creed or social or economic status.”
These unfair treatment of Muslim women in Ghana has led to the constant harassment by institutions refusing to offer services to them. The recent refusal by an invigilator against a registered candidate to write the on-going WASCCE exam is one of the many cases which needs a sustainable solution.
We are worried that this injustice if not addressed immediately risk causing a division in the nation.
As a country that has signed unto several international protocols, treaties and conventions against the discrimination and marginalization of women in any form or kind, we see this as an effort to control the body of women by telling them how to dress. We cannot build a nation based on division and harassment of any kind on grounds of gender and religion.
We firmly believe in the absolute respect of the rights of all persons and call for the upholding of Art 12 (2) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana which states that “every person in Ghana, whatever his race, place of origin, religion, political opinion, colour, creed or gender shall be entitled to the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the individual … but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest” unfortunately, the rights of Muslim women are consistently abused for choosing to wear a hijab which they consider their identity through the actions of other citizenry. It is not for nothing that Art 21(c) under the general fundamental freedoms further charges citizens to respect the “freedom to practice any religion and to manifest such practices:”
We therefore call on the Presidency to take a sustainable action that upholds the 1992 Constitution of Ghana.
Muslimah Mentorship Network