Africa

Ghana bars recruits over stretch marks and bleached skin

A beautician in Nairobi, Kenya shows how to rub skin-lightening cream, on March 18, 2015. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Skin-lightening treatments have been popular in Africa, Asia and the Middle East since the 1930s

The Ghanaian Immigration Service (GIS) has disqualified candidates with bleached skin and stretch marks from a massive recruitment exercise.

A GIS spokesman told the BBC this was because people with such marks might bleed during the "strenuous" training.

Some Ghanaians condemned the bar as sexist and unfair. Those with tattoos, dreadlocks and "bow legs" were also disqualified from the exercise.

The GIS received some 84,000 applications for just 500 jobs.

"The kind of work we do, it's strenuous and the training is such that if you have bleached skin or surgical marks on your body during training exercises, you may incur some bleedings," Superintendent Michael Amoako-Attah, told BBC Pidgin.

Candidates must undergo a medical and a full body check as part of the GIS recruitment process.

It is the ban on stretch marks which has aroused most anger on social media.

Image copyright Facebook
Image copyright Facebook

While others praised the move against women who lighten their skin.

Image copyright Facebook
Image copyright Facebook

This is the latest controversy surrounding the GIS recruitment exercise.

Ghanaians also reacted angrily when the agency revealed it was only recruiting 500 people, after some 84,000 people had paid 50 cedis ($11; £8) each for an application form.

A local MP, Richard Quashigah, has urged rejected applicants to take the GIS to court to recover the application fee.

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