Voice of Disabilities Initiative (VDI), an organization of persons with disabilities (OPD), has called on stakeholders in Nasarawa State to safeguard and promote the rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).
Barr. Edeh Catherine Chinyere, The Executive Director of VDI, gave the charge on Friday in Lafia during the town hall meeting to commemorate the 2021 International Day of Persons with Disabilities with the theme “Leadership and Participation of Persons with Disability towards inclusive accessible and sustainable post-COVID -19 World”.
The townhall meeting is part of the activities of VDI project supported by Disability Rights Fund which geared promoting the disability rights and policies.
Barr. Edeh in her speech said that women and girls with disabilities in society were most affected by gender-based violence.
She informed that gender-based violence had devastating consequences on a social, economic, and personal level of women and girls with disabilities.
She also said that the town hall meeting was organized to bring together critical stakeholders and raise awareness on the rights protecting persons with disabilities in Nasarawa State.
“The town hall meeting also aimed at sensitization of the stakeholders to help them have improved knowledge about sexual and reproductive health rights of persons with disabilitie with emphasis on women and girls, and sexual gender-based violence as how it affect PWDs especially women and girls with disabilities”.
Barr. Edeh who is a renowned disability right advocate and also a deaf persons appealed to the government at all levels to implement five percent employment opportunity for persons with disabilities in compliance to section 29 of Discrimination against Persons With Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018.
She advocated that this quota for PWDs be implemented and priority should be given to women and girls with disabilities with a view to empowering them because among PWDs, poverty dwells more among women with disabilities.
“Community education and engagement should harness existing youth and women’s platform in Nasarawa State, youth networks representation across all the local government areas and ensure they capture the diverse need of different clusters of women with disabilities,” she said.
The town hall meeting had in attendance the representative’s traditional rulers, religious leaders, National Human Rights Commission and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and leaders of Disability Community in the State.