The Executive Director of the Henry Djaba Memorial Foundation, Ms Otiko Afisa Djaba, has urged Ghanaians to vote for women and Person With Disabilities (PWDs) contesting for the positions in the upcoming District Assembly election to be held on December 17.
The former Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection made this call when her outfit organised a town hall meeting at the CLOGSAG auditorium in Accra last Tuesday, to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), and also to raise awareness and encourage women and PWDs’ involvement in local governance.
The theme for this year’s IDPD is: “Promoting the participation of persons with disabilities and their leadership: taking action on the 2030 Development Agenda.” The theme focuses on the empowerment of persons with disabilities to rise up and challenge top positions in our societies.
Ms Djaba indicated that out of the 18,500 applicants who are contesting for assembly elections, only 9009 are women and 20 are PWDs. She opined that though the numbers were not encouraging, it was a bold step and that Ghanaians must support them by voting for them.
“Today’s programme is about awareness creation and campaign for women and persons with disabilities to be voted for during the December 17 district assembly elections.
“This is a unique opportunity to make the future accessible for women and people with disabilities. We should vote for them to make the present accessible before the future, so that their voices can be heard, so that they can feel human,” Ms Djaba noted.
Passage of Legislative Instrument (LI)
Ms Djaba who was once the national women’s organiser of the ruling NPP appealed to the government to rapidly pass the Legislative Instrument (LI) on the rights of PWDs.
“The disability act 715, 2006 is there, but the LI, has not been passed. So on this day I am calling on the government and various duty bearers to ensure the LI is passed so that we can enforce the act.”
“Also there have been talks about amending persons with disability act in line with UN conventions of the right of PWDs. It is time for government to expedite the process because no woman or PWDs can wait anymore,” she posited.
Disability not inability
The chairman of the occasion, Dr Lawrence Tetteh, encouraged the appreciable number of PWDs who were seated, saying: “I have no doubt in the capabilities of PWDs. I am believing God for the day the Speaker of Parliament or President or Chief Justice would be disabled persons.”
“As a nation we must embrace PWDs and support them in their endeavours. I encourage Ghanaians to vote for women and PWDs so we can have all inclusive government,” Dr Tetteh noted.
A visually impaired man, Joshua Addy, who delivered a solidarity message as a representative from the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), sent a strong message to encourage his colleagues.
“As persons with disabilities, we should believe in ourselves, our potential and abilities. We must reject what society describes us as and move ahead. We should not let people define us, but rather our potential should define us. I urge Ghanaians to reconsider their thoughts about PWDs and vote for the few who are contesting,” he said.
Representatives of queenmothers, Department of Social Welfare and other institutions mounted the podium to solidarise with women and PWDs to encourage them to impact society as much as they could.
Source: Graphic Online