The Advocacy for Women and Girls with Disabilities Initiative (AWWDI) has called on the media to protect and promote issues associated with reproductive rights of women with disabilities in Nigeria.
Mrs Patience Ogolo-Dickson, the founder of AWWDI, said this on Monday during an interactive session with newsmen to create awareness on sexual and reproductive health rights of women with disabilities in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was aimed at engaging the media to set an agenda for the public and health workers on the best way to give attention to women and girls with disabilities.
Represented by the Programme Manager of AWWDI, Mr Kolawole Jayeoba, she said the aim of the event was to engage the media on proper way to report issues of women and girls with disabilities.
”Especially, as it relates to their sexual and reproductive health rights because over the years media has played a major role in shaping the mind, the thinking and thought of the public.
”We want them to be fully aware of what women and girls with disabilities are going through as regards to their sexual and reproductive healthcare rights.
”Our expectations after this training is that we want these group of people to be properly addressed and the media to report their experiences as it is, especially in healthcare centres ” She said.
Ogolo-Dickson also expressed the need for the public to change their mindset towards women and girls with disabilities, adding that, there is ability in disabilities.
” Some people must change their mindset about them because some of this people have wrong perception about women and girls with disabilities and we need to a better way of addressing this issues.
”It is unfortunate that some of this discrimination against women and girls with disabilities happen in hospitals, so we want the healthcare workers accommodate them and be more inclusive.
” It may interest you to know that some of this hospitals are not accessible because there are no walkways for women and girls with disabilities, especially those in wheelchair ” she said.
She also expressed her concerns over the negative attitude of some healthcare workers towards women with disabilities when seeking for attention during child birth.
According to her, some of the languages used against them by some nurses is not encouraging.
” Women and Girls with Disabilities by virtue of their condition expirience double discrimination which placed them at high risk Gender Based Violence including sexual abuse and neglect in some cases”She said.
Participants who spoke at the event, want stakeholders to ensure a robust engagement with the media to ensure that issues affecting women with disabilities are brought into the limelight.