Voice of Disability Initiative (VDI), A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has raised alarm over the multiple discrimination being faced by women with disabilities in the society.
Barr. Catherine Edeh, Executive Director (ED) of VDI made the disclosure at a one-day stakeholders dialogue and capacity building training for victims on Thursday in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
According to the Executive Director women in the society are often discriminated upon and it becomes double discrimination if the woman is living with disability.
“If a person with disability especially a deaf woman is sick and in an emergency situation, medical personnel usually abandon her to her fate.
“Medical personnel often claimed that they cannot communicate with deaf patient as such most finish attending to other patients before they will attend to them.
“The unwillingness to attend to sick women in emergency because of alleged communication barrier had led to increase in mortality rate of women with disabilities,” she added.
Barr. Catherine Edeh who herself is deaf, said that women with disabilities are being raped and abused in schools, hospitals, homes and offices.
She however explained that women with disabilities who were abused find it difficult to open up due to fear of stigmatisation by the society.
“You are being discriminated as a woman and as a woman with disability, so, to further say you are raped is inviting another form of discrimination,” she added.
The Executive Director therefore, lauded Nasarawa State Government for enacting the Disability Law in 2018 to protect persons with disabilities in the state.
On his part, Mr. Emmanuel Ozoemena, said VDI is a women-led NGO focused on advancing the rights of women, girls, and children with disability.
He said that VDI is partnering with a wide range of stakeholders including the government, NGOs, development partners, bilateral and multilateral agencies, private sector, and the media.
“VDI is implementing, a Project in Nasarawa state. The project is aimed at sensitizing stakeholders on strengthening access to sexual and reproductive health rights of women with disabilities and protection of against sexual violence.
“The project supports the objective of the Nasarawa State Government to foster inclusion of women and girls with disabilities on access to healthcare, and protection from sexual violence,” he added.
In his remark, Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State represented by Ai’sha Rufa’i, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, promised to partner any organisation interested in promoting the rights of the vulnerable.
The governor also said that the government would ensure that women with disabilities are given special attention in all public medical facilities in the state.
On their parts, Mr. Osakade Solomon, Nasarawa State Secretary of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities and Mrs Nanret Akoji their members said persons with disabilities are facing a lot of challenges in the society.
The duo who spoke on behalf of persons with disabilities, said other members of the society find it difficult to marry a person with disability and hardly offer them employment.
They therefore appealed to the government to ensure full implementation of the disability law and punish those who discriminate against their members. (NAN)