Three student nurses, including a married woman, of the Mampong Nurses and Midwifery Training School in the Ashanti Region, have been denied the right to register and write their licensing examination because they were pregnant.

Although two of them have delivered, the school authorities have refused to allow them to write the examination because of a rule that has long been scrapped by the Ministry of Health.

Human right lawyer, Mr Francis Xavier-Sosu, whose law firm, F-X Law & Associates, has taken the case, on Friday filed a petition at the Commission on Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) in Accra praying CHRAJ to intervene.

“I want an immediate intervention to ensure that the students register and write their licensing examinations” he told Graphic Online.

He said it was not too late for the authorities to intervene because the registration process was still open.

Mr Xavier-Sosu who described the action as very discriminatory said “all attempts to get the women registered have proved futile.”

He said the affected students finished their end of year examination two weeks ago and all of them have passed and qualified to write the licensing exams organised by the Nurses and Midwifery Council.

But the school has refused them an opportunity to write the examination on the grounds that they were pregnant.

Ironically, Mr Xavier-Sosu said although two of the students have delivered and were strong to write the examination, the school has kept to its position.

“One of them picked the registration form and registered but her registration form was removed from the forms that were to be submitted to the Nurses and Midwifery Council.

He said the policy of denying pregnant women rights to write their licensing exams breaches articles 17(1) and 17(2) of the 1992 Constitution which provided for equality before the law and makes provisions against discrimination on bases of gender.

“It also breaches article 12(1) and (2) of the 1992 Constitution and the United Nation’s Convention on Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW),” he asserted.

The Convention provides the basis for realizing equality between women and men through ensuring women’s equal access to, and equal opportunities in, political and public life — including the right to vote and to stand for election — as well as education, health and employment.

Mr Xavier-Sosu said he had contacted the school to change its decision but its Vice Principal, Ms Mercy Kporku, said the school was following rules that was being applied everywhere.

An attempt by Graphic Online to get the school authorities comment on the issue did not yield fruit as text messages and telephone calls were not responded to.

Meanwhile, the Head of Public Relations and Communications of the CHRAJ, Mrs Comfort Akosua  Edu, has confirmed that the commission has received a petition from Mr Sosu.

“It will be processed to the commissioner,” she told Graphic Online.

Schools preventing pregnant students from writing examinations used to be the case of junior and senior high schools and teacher training colleges but in recent times, there has been a shift from that position as students from JHS are allowed to write their examinations even when they are pregnant.

In July 2013, St Monica’s College of Education in Asante Mampong also refused to allow five pregnant students who were in their third year from writing their examinations.

Writer’s email:seth.bokpe@graphic.com.gh 

– See more at: http://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/64641-school-prevent-3-pregnant-nurses-from-writing-licensing-exams.html#sthash.aNgOMr67.dpuf



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