The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has ordered the Nursing and Midwifery Council to register all pregnant students who were prevented from registering for the upcoming external licensing examination.
The directive comes after three students of the Nurses and Midwifery Training School at Mampong in the Ashanti Region were prevented from registering on grounds that they were pregnant.
Although two of them had reportedly delivered, the school authorities refused to allow them to write the examination because of a rule that has been scrapped by the Ministry of Health.
The situation compelled human rights lawyer, Francis Xavier Sosu, to petition CHRAJ on their behalf.
Sosu told Accra-based Citi FM that CHRAJ's directive that pregnant students be allowed to register applied to all schools.
“We are happy to note that today CHRAJ has made an initial directive to all schools to ensure that the affected students will be registered and can take part in the exams in 2016. It is important to note that this development does not only affect students in Mampong.
“Indeed over the weekend, we have had calls from other schools who were complaining about a similar discrimination against them so we hoping that by this directive from CHRAJ, at least there will be some immediate steps taken to get them registered while CHRAJ makes some appropriate recommendation to resolve the problem.”
Sosu had stated when the news first broke that the policy of denying pregnant women their right to write their licensing exams breaches Article 17(1) and 17(2) of the constitution, which he said provided for equality before the law and made provisions against discrimination on the basis of gender.
He said it also breached article 12(1) and (2) and the United Nation’s convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW).
The lawyer had also appealed to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social protection, the Ministry of Health, and the Nurses and Midwifery Council to act immediately to remedy the situation.