One of the leading organizations advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities, Cedar Seed Foundation, has expressed dismay over zero inclusion of women with disabilities in governance in Nigeria.
The group stated this in Abuja during the inauguration of their new project tagged “Disability Inclusion Governance” (DIG) in collaboration with Policy and Legal Advocacy Center (PLAC) with support from MacArthur Foundation in Abuja,
The Executive Director, Lois Auta of Ceder seeds Foundation, Mrs Lois Auta in a speech called for more inclusion of persons with disabilities (PWDs) especially women with disabilities in governance to help address some challenges faced by disability communities.
She lamented about the high level of discrimination against women with disabilities in politics and the decision-making process in the country.
Mrs Auta called for proper implementation of the 2018 Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2022 and other international charters to enable them to contribute to nation building and also compete favourably.
“Article 6 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is captured as “Women with Disabilities” and article 9 and 23 of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on Women in Africa, also known as “Maputo Protocol” all advocate our rights to participation in the political and decision-making process and special protection.”
“Some of us have run for elective positions without winning due to factors, barriers, and challenges that are stopping us.” Auta said.
She recalled that she opened flood gate for women with disabilities when she contested for House of Representative, Bwari/AMAC Federal Constituency in 2019 but in 2023, out of 34 persons with disabilities who contested, 19 were women with disabilities but no of them were able to win.
Earlier, the group had embarked on a rally carrying placards with various inscriptions such as “women with disabilities matter in nation building”, “Reserve a quota system for women with disabilities at all levels of government”, and “equal opportunities, diverse voices” among others.
The group informed that DIG programme objectives were:
- To ensure that no one is left out especially people with disabilities.
- To specifically target people with disabilities for inclusion in governance and the robust implementation of clause 54 of the Electoral Act 2022.
- To create a dynamic platform where disability experts, donor agencies, civil society organisations and policy formulators and implementers can converge to chat a positive cause.