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Gender weigh in on MOFDP’s hair restrictions

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The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, (MoGCSP), says it is deeply concerned over reports of female employees of the Ministry of Finance, and Development Planning, (MoFDP), being restricted from entering the building for wearing colored or unnatural hair.Authorities at the MOFDP recently restricted its female employees to wearing only black colored-natural hair.

The Gender Ministry in its release issued Tuesday October 9, says it has engaged authorities at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to firstly ascertain the veracity of the story and, if true – to constructively engage them on revisiting said policy.

Authorities at the MoFDP say the policy on hair color and styles were a part of their Employee Handbook published in 2014; Section 7.4 of the Employee Handbook discourages the use of unnatural colored hair (such as Green, Pink, etc) and extreme hairstyles.

However, the Gender Ministry says it has encouraged MoFDP authorities to revisit such policy and ensure that an amended version is in conformity with the present government’s own agenda for the protection of women’s rights given the fact that both President Dr. George M. Weah and Min. Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., are avowed He4Shes and women’s rights champions.

Gender officials say their intervention is expected to yield positive results as soon as possible, saying that MoFDP has been very responsive during their engagement.However, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection say though it welcomes the setting up of internal workplace regulations, it seriously frowns on any kind of policy that discriminates against women.

The Decent Work Law of Liberia clearly defines discrimination as the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

The ministry adds that all public and private institutions should harmonize their policies in line with the National Code of Conduct and Decent Work Bill, and make necessary amendments, to avoid the violation of women’s rights.-Press release

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