The federal government has revealed that more than 90 per cent of children with disabilities have no access to elementary education.
It said that 25 million Nigerians have one form of disability or the other, adding that more than 50 per cent of the 25 million are females with only five per cent of the number being literate.
Minister of Women Affairs, Paullen Tallen, made this revelation in Abuja at the National Conference of Women with Disabilities with the theme, ‘Violence Against Women with Disabilities is a Violence Against All Women’.
The minister emphasised that there should be behavioural and attitudinal change towards people with disabilities, describing the theme of the conference as apt, as it affords the conferees the opportunity to reflect and raise consciousness on the plight of women and girls with disabilities who most times fall victim of violence.
Represented at the event by Deputy Director, Women Development, Mrs. Christiana Oliko, Tallen stressed that COVID-19 pandemic seriously upended the progress which equally exposed existing inequalities against People with Disabilities (PWDs) and rise in new threats.
“They persistently face stigma, discriminations and barriers to accessing social services including public transports and social safety-nets. Today, they face greater barriers brought about by the impact of the COVID-19.
“Women with disabilities are three-times experiencing physical, sexual and economic abuse than women without disabilities,” the minister observed.
Tallen advised that any programmes packaged for PWDs need to be done with the input of women and girls with disabilities.
She pointed out that the government through the ministry has taken some steps to address the needs of PWD which includes: the ratification of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Acts, 2018 and Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, 2015.
The minister revealed that 31 states of the federation have domesticated the laws to safeguard the rights of persons including the persons with disabilities to varying degrees of implementation.
The conference was organised by Advocacy for Women Disabilities Initiative (AWDI) in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMWA) and other partners, held to further actualise the ministry’s initiatives on “social inclusion”.