The Network of Disabled Women (NDW) has called for more political participation and enhanced legislative process for women and girls with disabilities.
Chief Operating Officer (COO) of NDW, Imoete Edet, made this demand in Abuja during a conference to commemorate Global Human Rights Day with the theme: Strategies for Political Participation of Women with Disabilities, Legislative Process, and Advocacy.
Imoete Edet said that WGWDs should be encouraged to participate in political process in order to increase their inclusiveness in national issues.
Speaking further, he said that the political participation of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) dropped from 8 percent to 1 percent during 2019 general elections.
He called for more strategies to ensure their participation in future electoral processes, urging WGWDs in Nigeria to rise up in one accord and demand for their inclusion in the political process and encourage themselves to participate.
He attributed the drop in political participation of PWDs to insecurity, stating that majority of PWDs are afraid of chaos and possible stampedes at the polling units, they might likely be caught in the middle and there would be nobody there to assist.
“Limited access to voting centres or materials to enable them to participate fully has also hindered them from exercising their rights,” he said.
He said the conference aimed at sensitizing the women with appropriate information that would enable them participate in politics, put themselves forward for elective positions and the necessary requirements needed to enable them access supports during elections.
Our expectation is that more women with disabilities will be educated on the need to participate actively in politics and not see their disabilities as a limitation, but can actually strive to vote and be voted for during any political election,” he said.
Ms. Eunice Uchechi-Nwokocha, stressed the need for persons with albinism to be considered on priority voting because joining the long queue under the sun will put them at risk of contracting skin cancer.
Similarly, Victoria Sani, another member encouraged PWDs to always speak out to ensure stakeholders prioritize issues affecting them and promote inclusiveness in all national issues.