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HomeNEWSArden & Newton, Ford Foundation report advocates quota system for women with...

Arden & Newton, Ford Foundation report advocates quota system for women with disabilities

By Babajide Komolafe

Pan African creative agency, Arden and Newton has in its new report, ‘Discrimination Against Women With Disabilities in Resouce-Producing Communities in Nigeria’ advocated a quota system for women with disabilities in Nigeria’s mining communities.

The agency, through its social responsibility arm, The Good Partner with the funding support of one of the world’s largest donor organisations, Ford Foundation, had embarked on 18 months two-part study and report on the study of the resilience of women with disabilities in resource-producing communities.

The report which surveyed Bayelsa, Benue, Delta, Ebonyi, Kogi, Niger, Osun, and Zamfara revealed that 91 per cent of the respondents admit that it is very difficult for women to gain entry into the sector.

It said, “It is considerably difficult for WWD to enter the extractive sector across all the LGAs surveyed.” The report however attributed the marginalization of women with disabilities in these communities to their lack of skills required to work in the sector.

Other challenges identified are “lack of opportunities, disability, lack of support from government/oil companies, corruption, unfair employment practices, lack of education, societal neglect, inconclusive skill acquisition programmes, remoteness of the location and lack of finance.”

In view of these findings, the report recommended that the federal and state governments should implement a quota system that mandates all mining and oil companies to employ a certain number of women with disabilities.

It further added that incentives should be provided at all levels of the value chain for women with disabilities to encourage them to participate in the extractive industry.

On legislative reforms, the report read, “The government should pass legislation outlawing discrimination against disabled women in any manner. It should then follow up with education on equitable chances in education, employment, and involvement in resource extraction and exploitation.”

Speaking on the impact of this research, the Project Lead and Creative Director, Arden & Newton, Perez Tigidam said: “We are confident that the key issues highlighted in the reports and the solutions proffered can help policymakers make informed decisions and shape policies that will protect the rights of women living with disabilities and foster societal inclusion. This is in line with the national and global efforts to ensure Sustainable development.”

Meanwhile, the second part of the published report, ‘A critical discourse and narrative analysis of female disability representation in Nollywood and other cinemas’, critically examines the misrepresentation of women living with disability in the movie industry.

Given the non-progressive and antifeminist position of the industry on social issues concerning women, WWDs inclusive, the report content analyzed thirteen movies.

The selected movies were Submission, I Stand for Love, Conspiracy, Wind of Glory, Munachi the Blind Girl, Obioma the Slave Girl, Mkpulumma My Beauty, Iyi Ogwe, Mad Couple, My Mother, My Pain, Breath Again, and Crazy Village Nanny.

The report established that spiritualism is often associated with narratives featuring female characters with disabilities while most female characters are potentially triply disadvantaged: female, living with a disability, and poor amongst other findings.

According to Perez Tigidam, “What we did was examine gender development and disability issues in Nigeria with a focus on the stigmatization and marginalization of disabled women.

“We believe that in our many conversations, it is essential to bring forward all of these findings, advocate for an inclusive society, and change the narratives that we tell,” he added.

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