The Executive Secretary, National Commission For Persons With Disabilities have called for improved budgetary allocation to carry out programmes geared towards empowerment of women with disabilities.
He made this call during the National Conference For Women With Disabilities organized by Women And Gender Unit of NCPWD to Commemorate 16days of Activism with the topic: “Economic Empowerment, A Catalyst for Eradicated Gender Based Violence against Women with Disabilities”.
Mr. Lalu commended the House Chairman On Disability, Hon. Dr. Bashiru Dawodu for his passion since he was appointed. He acknowledged that women with disabilities are higher in number among the entire persons with disabilities, so their issues/plights should be properly addressed and it can be addressed if adequate budgetary allocation is made available towards disability issues and the Chairman, House Committee on disability will be helpful to make it happen.
Speaking further, Mr. Lalu said that NCPWD remain committed to ensuring that women with disabilities get the highest percentage when it comes to their empowerment programs at all levels.
“Recently, we have kick started various empowerment programs. More are coming in the year 2024. my wish is that by next year, with proper budgetary allocation, every person with disability in Nigeria will be touched in one way or the order”.
“As we continue to advocate for 35 percent for women generally, women with disabilities are expected to receive 50 percent. We must ensure that in all programs and projects, women with disabilities will be considered on a 50/50 basis”.
“I want to encourage you to get educated. Education is very, very important. We will remain committed to providing scholarship to students with disabilities in Nigeria. If we start the year with proper budgetary allocation, we will expand the number of beneficiaries and amount of scholarship awarded.”
He reiterated that the moratorium period granted by the disability act will end on the 16th of January 2024. “The Commission is ready and willing to enforce all aspect of the law.
He clarified that public buildings consist of all buildings that have at least 10 visitors or more in a day so they should comply to the Act.
“It is all public buildings both government owned and private, they must obey and comply with the act”.
Patience Ogolo Dickson, Head, Women and Gender Unit, NCPWD, in her remark said that the event was organized to commemorate 16 days of activism with the theme: Invest To Prevent Gender Based Violence against Women and Girls.
She said that the take home message will be; women with disabilities should not be left behind. The whole world is celebrating 16 days activism against gender based violence against women and girls. Therefore, women and girls with disabilities must also be inclusive.
“We are here to bring out the unique, specific issues that have to do with us as women with disabilities. We are advocating in order that everyone will be aware that women with disabilities should not be left behind” she added.
“Access is one of the key issue; we need access to infrastructure, access to health facilities. Communication barrier is a big issue, especially for the Deaf. And again, we also have issues with gender based violence, spousal violence, emotional violence, bully, and all the types. We also have issues around sexual reproductive health and rights. So these are issues that are peculiar to women.
“But for women with disability, considering the barriers that they face because of their disability, we needed to also highlight that as well. “
Hon. Dr. Bashiru Ayinla Dawodu, Chairman, House Committee on Disability assured PWDs of proper representation. He stressed that the NCPWD has one of the lowest budgetary allocation to cater for the over 35 million Nigerians with disabilities. He therefore, promised a change in the subsequent budgets.
He said “The law is about rights, primarily and we are very glad that we have it now, because we never had that before.
“My message to persons with disability; this is a different time. You are not alone. Your government is with you, your governments will stand with you, and stand up for you to make sure that your lives are better. Because the law has mandated governments and the community to do better”
“My message for the public at large is that when we are talking about inclusion for persons with disability, we are not talking about charity or favor. Now is about rights. More importantly, when we include everyone in the society – the society is better off.“
The event also have in attendance dignitaries from some relevant MDAs such as National Human Rights Commission, National Orientation Agency, National Directorate Of Employment, Ministry Of Humanitarian Affair And Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Women Affairs among others..