Mrs Cynthia Morrison, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection has advised the public to desist from making fun of persons with disability through jokes, movies and other forms of entertainment.
She said the self-esteem of persons with disability were affected indirectly when abled persons made fun of them, adding that the practice did not help the general wellbeing of the disabled.
She was addressing the joint launch of the Equal World Campaign in Ghana by the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) and Sightsavers on Tuesday.
The campaign is to urge government to ratify the African Disability Protocol and adopt an employment equity policy to promote equal and accessible employment for persons with disabilities.
Mrs Morrison said parents or persons with disability did not have the right to determine how they wanted to be born and that any person in one way or the other could become a victim of disability through accidents and other unforeseen circumstances.
“Disability is not inability, you must unite and see how best you can help yourselves,” she advised.
She said that her Ministry was working on an arrangement to engage persons with disability to work as toll collectors, adding that they would also engage such persons in offices where they could be productive.
Mrs Morrison assured the Federation of her Ministry’s support in their fight to get the African Disability Protocol ratified and adaptation of an employment equity policy to promote equal and accessible employment for persons with disabilities.
Ms Gertrude Oforiwaa Fefoame, Global Advocacy Advisor, Sightsavers, said it was important for participants and volunteers to mobilise support from around the world to join their world in their fight for disability rights.
She said change of attitude towards disability advocacy was rife for the attainment of an equal world where all were treated equally without prejudice.
Ms Fefoame said the Equal World petition had specific calls to action which targeted the governments of Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, India, Ireland, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda.
She said the signatures collected would help in their campaign before the UN and member states to improve the lives of people with disabilities around the world by promoting disability rights and inclusion throughout its work.
Ms Grace Antwi-Atsu, Global Advocacy Advisor, Sightsavers, said that it was estimated that 15 per cent of the world’s population had some form of disability, the Equal World campaign aimed to change the fact that in many countries persons with disabilities experienced high levels of discrimination that prevented them from taking part in society.
She said the disability movement in Ghana had therefore joined the global campaign to support the advocacy on inclusive and effective participation of persons with disabilities.
Ms Antwi-Atsu noted that the campaign was working with local disability groups and individuals around the world to get as many signatures as possible.
She said the duration for signing of the petition was from June to September and the signatures would be handed over to the UN and member States governments in September,adding that petition could be signed through www.sightsavers.org/equalword to support in the advocacy.
Ms Rita Kusi Kyeremaa, Executive Director of GFD, asked the public to sign in support of the fight for an equal world where persons with disability were not discriminated against.
She said the ratification of the African Disability Protocol and adaptation of an employment equity policy to promote equal and accessible employment for persons with disabilities was the ultimate desire of the Federation and persons with disability in Ghana.