The Zimbabwean government has been urged by women advocacies to include women with disabilities in the country’s top leadership positions.
Speaking at roundtable discussion conducted by Studio 7 and the Media Centre in Harare today on whether the country has women friendly policies, Deaf Women Included (DWI) said the government should make sure women with disabilities are included in the country’s positions of authority.
The organisation said it is disheartening that women with disabilities are even side-lined in women movements thereby undermining their voices and making it hard for their concerns to heard.
During the discussion, participants from various women organisations highlighted that women with disabilities are facing various types of discrimination in several spheres of life, hence the need for government to promulgate women friendly policies.
DWI director Agnes Chindimba said it was true that women with disabilities are facing various forms of discrimination in workplaces, health centres and educational institutions, and call for the to promote their inclusion in governance issues.
Speaking on the sidelines of the discussion, one participant had this to say; “It makes me a subject of pity who always needs assistance. In fact, we
Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) women included need to be empowered. “Disability is not inability. We need inclusion, in areas of authority such as the policymaking arm,” she added.
Meanwhile, the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that took over from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) pursue to achieve a set of targets.
The goals are underpinned on trying to achieve access to adequate and equitable access to basic services for all, support and strengthen local communities for improving people’s well-being by 2030, among other things, and also paying particular attention to the needs of women, girls and those in vulnerable situations.
Disability, HIV and AIDS Trust (DHAT) Executive Director, Phillimon Simwaba, once told this reporter in an interview that even issues of hygiene, health, and sanitation should not be a complete topic without taking into account the existence of PWDs, mainly women who constitutes a greater number of the country’s population. He said lack of full engagement by all citizens in planning such developments may result in some sections of the population failing to fully benefit.
World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that people with disabilities constitute 15% of Zimbabwe’s population of over 13 million, which is a great proportion. The above statistics reveals that PWDs account for over 1.9 million people
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported in 2015, that about 40% of the world’s population lack basic sanitation. Analysts therefore believe that without putting great efforts, commitment, and political will in integrating the needs of PWDs in sustainable programmes, it is hard to achieve SDGs targets by 2030.
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