Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Pro-Gay Ghanian Gender Minister Sworn-In

Over the weekend, I blogged about Nana Oye Lithur, pictured in her government office today, facing a hostile hearing last week in the Ghanian parliament over her nomination to become the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

Lithur is a longtime civil society advocate who has called for respecting the full human rights of LGBT people, a position widely opposed in Ghana.

Despite loud calls by bigoted politicians and hateful religious leaders to scrap her ministerial appointment because she does not embrace anti-gay stupidity and discrimination, Lithur on Tuesday was sworn-in by President John Dramani Mahama to lead the social ministry, according to the government's official web site.

She wasted no time on her first day on the job in telling the Ghana News Agency about her blueprint for improving the lives of women and children, while not ignoring the role of men:

Nana Oye Lithur said the Gender arm of the new Ministry is mandated to promote gender equality and safeguard the welfare and participation of women in social, political and economic development process. She said the arm is responsible for gender mainstreaming, social empowerment of women and girls and bring men into the mainstreaming framework.

Let's hope Lithur's numerous anti-gay opponents come to respect her advocacy on behalf of all Ghanians regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Now that she is head of the ministry, I expect the dignity and strength she showed during the vetting process will guide her in her government appointment.

Congratulations, Madame Minister Lithur!

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