Group Seeks Inclusion of Women with Disabilities in Governance

Appointing them into the government agencies and parastatals.
Disability Advocates
Disability Advocates NAN

A Group known as the Network of Women with Disabilities seeks for the inclusion and appointment of women with disabilities in governance and active decision making.

They made the revelation at a rally and press conference organized by Cedar Seed Foundation in partnership with Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), with funding support from MacArthur Foundation in Abuja.

The President of the group, Mrs Lois Auta-Udonkanta, said the exclusion, discrimination, sidelined, marginalization and under-representation were challenges affecting Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in the country.

Auta-Udonkanta, who is also the Founder, Cedar Seed Foundation, stressed that in spite of that Nigeria was a signatory to the UN Conventions on the Rights of PWDs, Maputo Protocol and other treaties, women and girls with disabilities were excluded in governance structures.

According to her, some of the challenges affecting poor political participation of PWDs could be attitudinal, infrastructural, institutional, political, cultural and economical.

She however, urged the government to adhere to Section 29 of the Discrimination against PWD Prohibition Act, 2018, which states a minimum appointment of five percent quota for PWDs, with emphasis on women.

“Nobody from the disability community was appointed as a minister.

“We also have other parastatals that PWDs, especially our women, can be appointed as director generals, executive directors and executive secretaries.

“So we are still appealing to the government to listen to us to give us our rights of active participation,” she urged.

Similarly, she also encouraged PWDs, especially women, to “come out and participate actively in politics.

“So women with disabilities out there if you’re listening to me, come out and join political parties not just by joining but attending meetings, and also aspiring for positions in those political parties”.

On the Nigeria Disability Act, 2018, the group’s president said: “One of the provisions is the transition period that was given in this Act; five years period, and it will be expiring in January 2024.

“Ramps are not put in our government infrastructures. Sign Language interpreters are not placed at strategic points.

“Braille materials are not provided in our schools and other public infrastructures and those are the barriers we are talking about.

“We need to remove these barriers to be able to include them accordingly.”

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