Give us Our Rights —PWD cries out
By: Edirin Robinson
The Executive Director, of Women with Disabilities Self Reliance Foundation, (WWDSRF), Risikat Toyin Mohammed, has demanded a 40 percent increase in budget and revenue allocated to persons with disabilities.
She asserted this yesterday at close up of 3-day Gender Based Violence, GBV, training for women and girls with disabilities held at the Kaduna.
The Director revealed that Persons With Disabilities (PWD), suffered the most during the crisis and still have to endure various forms of abuse, emotionally, socially, psychologically, and physically simply because they are considered weak by society and even rejected by family and supposed friends.
Some forms of abuse suffered are rape, body shaming, denial of Human Rights, physical assault, discrimination, and in other cases having them become beggars as a means of livelihood hence the need to demand that the rights of PWD be recognized and enforced.
The empowerment program which had more than 40 women and adolescent girls in attendance is in collaboration with various Organisations concerned with the affairs of persons with disabilities such as the Peace Action For Rapid and Transformative Nigeria Early Response, (PARTNER), Mercy Corps, WANEP, Kaduna State Peace Commission, (KSPC), and supported by the United States Intervention Development, (USAID).
The Programs Officer for Women with Disabilities Self-reliance Foundation, Garas Musa, said that the need to educate these women on their rights was urgent as some were already losing self-esteem and had even resorted to begging because of the rejection they suffered in society.
Garas Musa added that gender base Vince is common among them as they are viewed as weak humans which is why they should not settle for less as being physically challenged does not mean they can’t do anything.
She, therefore, urged them to stand up and fight for their rights because no one would help them if they didn’t do it.
The Adviser on the project —Early Warning, Early Response, (EWER), Barau Emmanuel said they partnered with others on the five-year project to reach out to states and communities with higher cases of GBV to make the awareness more effective.
States engaged in the project include Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Benue, and Nassarawa state. While in Kaduna, the communities reached were, Zaria, Samaru, Zango Kataf, Igabi, Kaduna north and south inclusive as they hope to reach others soon.
Some of the participants admitted to being ignorant of the disability laws, which has caused them to suffer various forms of violence in silence.
While expressing her gratitude to the organizers, one of the participants, Baratu Mohammed, said she is now equipped with the right knowledge and will therefore return to her community to share the knowledge with others so they can team up and effect a positive change.
The women leader of the Kaduna State Association of Deaf Persons, Amina Nasiru, said she’s very excited as she never knew that a protection law against female genital mutilation existed and now that is aware, promised to spread the word about it to other women.
Another participant, Sumayya Usman Boro, used the medium to call on the government to please look into their academics as school structures are not convenient for them.
“you see schools of three, four-story buildings with staircases, how do we reach the upper floor on our wheelchairs with no provision of ramps for us? Even after going to school, organizations refuse to employ us even after passing the interview simply because we are crippled.”
She suggested the government provide an agency that receives the names and certificates of special persons from various schools so that employment can be given to them after schooling.
The disability law is currently in the amendment and undergoing review by the state House of Assembly after which they hope to create time to sensitize the public on these laws so that the rights and opinions of persons with disabilities are respected by all.