Female firefighters from Ghana launch first gender discrimination scenario – Tek Portal

Accra, Ghana — Grace Fosu was about to give birth at a maternity ward in Ghana’s cash Accra when she says she gained a cell phone call from her employer, the Ghana National Hearth Provider (GNFS), telling her that she was being enable go from her occupation.
“I am in labor and you are calling me to notify me this, do you want me to die?” Fosu, 33, recalled telling the metro fireplace officer.
After hanging up, Fosu shipped a nutritious infant woman, Salamat. But instead of emotion pleasure, she was consumed with grief.
“For the dismissal, I went as a result of hell … I was extremely, extremely unhappy due to the fact I was not expecting this,” Fosu explained to CNN about the September 2014 phone contact.
Fosu and her husband, Seidu Abubakari, had married the previous year, following meeting at an athletics match for Ghana’s safety officials Fosu ran the sprints for the fire provider and Abubakari was a extended length runner for Ghana’s customs agency. Salamat was their very first baby, and they have been seeking forward to starting up a household jointly.

Months following their daughter was born, the pair have been summoned by the hearth service and a official dismissal letter, in which Fosu’s pregnancy was explained as an “offence,” was handed to her partner.
“When I opened the letter, I was puzzled. Then my physique commenced shaking so I tried out to control myself and my wife much too,” Abubakari, 38, said, incorporating that fireplace assistance officials mainly ignored Fosu’s existence in the home.

The letter stated that Fosu was in violation of “Regulation 33 clause (6) of the Ghana Countrywide Fireplace Provider Ailments of Provider,” which prohibited woman firefighters from turning into pregnant in their to start with three many years of employment.
Fosu had by no means just before read of the decades-previous rule, which was founded when the fire service was formed in 1963.
The spokesman for Ghana’s Countrywide Fireplace Assistance, Ellis Okoe, told CNN that the regulation was designed because “fireplace service perform requires a good deal of demanding energy” and that “if you are expecting it could lead to a great deal of challenges.”
It truly is unclear how lots of girls have been impacted by the regulation, but Fosu’s practical experience indicates a selective enforcement of the rule. She says 11 other women of all ages in her class of firefighters have been also pregnant inside of the exact same three-12 months time period, but she was the only just one to be kicked out of the assistance.
Okoe claimed that the hearth support “won’t have studies” on all of people dismissed under the clause, and could not describe why Fosu’s friends who became expecting ended up allowed to continue doing work.
Fosu believes she was specific around an incident in which she claims she was sexually harassed by a senior male officer. She suggests the officer referred to as her 1 night demanding intercourse and gave her unsolicited assistance on techniques she could abort her toddler. Abubakari, who witnessed the discussion, confronted the officer. But the pair by no means documented the incident.
Spokesman Okoe informed CNN that the hearth support has regulations against sexual harassment and abuse, like an internal tribunal to look into claims, which would have been utilized if Fosu experienced lodged a grievance.
Fosu says she hardly ever filed an official report versus the officer — who is even now in the company — since the harassment stopped just after her spouse confronted him.

Following remaining dismissed and with absolutely nothing still left to shed, she suggests she made the decision to just take motion towards the hearth support.
She described her dismissal to Ghana’s Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), an independent constitutional physique with powers to examine human legal rights abuses in the region.
“Pretty a range of identical conditions had come from the uniformed solutions of Ghana,” CHRAJ commissioner Joseph Whittal explained to CNN, conveying that equivalent guidelines about pregnancy exist in Ghana’s armed forces, law enforcement and immigration service.
A Ghana Armed Forces spokesman told CNN that the armed service has a plan governing when gals recruits get expecting till 6 months previous the conclude of the education interval it formerly experienced a three-calendar year ban like the hearth company. A Ghana Law enforcement Provider spokeswoman explained to CNN that gals who bought expecting through their 18-thirty day period probation period ended up provided maternity leave and authorized to return to get the job done. CNN has reached out to the immigration service for remark on their insurance policies.
“Due to the fact the grounds for dismissal was primarily based on a regulation, the only alternative was to seek a declaration from the courts invalidating it,” Whittal stated.
For yrs, CHRAJ had been waiting for a complainant prepared to choose this kind of a case to court docket. Ladies who experienced previously noted their dismissals on very similar grounds to CHRAJ withdrew due to the fact they didn’t want to go by means of the courtroom procedure, which can usually be cumbersome and drawn out. But Fosu suggests she was not deterred.
And as the legal professionals at CHRAJ well prepared to sue the fire company, an additional female, Thelma Hammond, arrived forward with a equivalent tale.

Hammond, 36, was dismissed from the fire provider in June 2013, far more than a yr before Fosu. She far too had a infant right before her initial 3 years of support had been up. Hammond told…