The Minister of Inner-city and Zongo Development, Dr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has vowed to protect the rights of female muslim health workers who are being harassed and discriminated against for wearing a hijab.

Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 in Accra, Dr Abdul-Hamid said:  “I want the health authorities and administrators to tell me how else a Muslim woman manifests her Islam-ness with the hijab? While the hijab is not a symbol of piety, it is a symbol of identity and identity is a manifestation”, 

He expressed worry about the numerous complaints received by his office about the alleged maltreatment of hijab-wearing female Muslim nurses at their health posts.

“They are complaining that their supervisors and senior nurses ask them to remove their hijab, otherwise they should go home, otherwise they cannot work as nurses,” he lamented.

He continued: “I got a call from a Muslim Ward Supervisor at the Accra Psychiatric Hospital, who told me she has been demoted because the Deputy Director of Nursing Services saw her and asked her, ‘Why are you wearing a hijab?’ You can’t wear a hijab here ... If you want to [wear a hijab], go and work in an Islamic hospital’. I feel very offended by that”, the minister stated.

Dr Abdul-Hamid subsequently assured Muslims health workers that he will fight for their cause and ensure that their religious rights are respected at their workplaces.

“I want people to know that the president has given me the mandate to protect the interest of Zongo people if those interests and rights are trampled upon ... I am going to fight for those interests with my last breath,” he said.