Nana Oye Lithur
Hon. Nana Oye Lithur is the Honourable Cabinet Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection of the Republic of Ghana. She is a lawyer by profession and holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, and a Masters in Law, in Human Rights and Democratization in Africa (LLM) from the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
She was called to the Ghana Bar in October, 1992 and has 23 years of legal experience in human rights, court advocacy and solicitor’s practice. She over the years specialized in human rights law, women’s rights and sexual and reproductive rights.
Her significant achievements include being awarded the Vera Chirwa Award for Human Rights in Africa in 2007.She was appointed Champion Torchbearer for Women’s Rights, one of the 100 selected globally by the Danish Government on 10th March, 2008. She was awarded the African Servant Leadership Award, legal service category, 2011. She was named the 4th most influential African woman achiever amongst 25 other African female presidents, politicians and Nobel Peace laureates by the United Kingdom Guardian Newspaper in March 2013.
Her field of expertise is legal advocacy for human rights legislative reform. For over a decade, she has led legal advocacy in Ghana to pass laws protecting human rights in Ghana including the Domestic Violence Act, the Persons with Disability Act, the Mental Health Act, the Property Rights of Spouses Bill, the Intestate Succession Law Bill, and the Right to Information Bill.
She has international, regional and national experience in protecting, promoting and fulfilling human rights and has been appointed on several advisory and steering committees of various international, regional, and national Commissions and Boards including the International Consortium on Medical Abortion, the African Consortium on Medical Abortion, the Global Consortium on Realising Rights, International Advocates for Freedom of Information, the African Women Leaders Network to Promote Sexual Health and Rights.
In 2009, she was appointed by the President of Ghana as a Commissioner for the Ghana Aids Commission, Law Reform Commission, and the National Media Commission. She has used her strong advocacy skills to conduct human rights monitoring and fact finding missions to investigate human rights violations including police brutalities, forced evictions, torture and extra judicial killing. These include the extra judicial killing of 44 Ghanaians in the Gambia, that led to the United Nations setting up a fact finding Committee to investigate the killing.
She instituted the first ever national human rights lectures in Ghana with the Commission on Human Rights and Ghana Bar Association. She also created a Human Rights Clinic. She set up the first ever Pro Bono Lawyers Network in Ghana made up of 219 lawyers throughout Ghana offering free legal services and representation to indigent persons.
Significant public interest law litigation cases she has argued in court on pro bono basis include an amicus curie in the Supreme Court case on the rights of LGBT persons, a declaration on the legal effect of expired remand warrants for remand prisoners, the detention of juveniles in adult prisons, protection of rights of an HIV positive woman etc.
In January, 2013, after winning the 2012 Ghana presidential elections, Honorable Nana Oye Lithur was appointed by His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama as a member of the Presidential Transition Team and made Chair of the Sub-Committee on Ex-Gratia awards for public office holders.
On 18th February, 2013, she was sworn in by the President as Cabinet Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection.