By Justina Auta
Network of Women with Disabilities (NWD), FCT Chapter, has urged Nigeria to domesticate all the regional and international instruments on disability rights that it has signed and ratified.
They made the call while presenting the “Charter of Demand for Women with Disabilities”, supported by MacArthur Foundation, in partnership with Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), Abuja.
Ms Godiya John, Media and Communication Officer, FCT Chapter, said domesticating the instruments would promote inclusion, political participation and economic independence of People with Disabilities (PWDs), especially women.
John said the charter was developed through the findings and consultation of key actors, committed to the inclusion of women with disabilities in Nigerian Democracy and Governance.
According to her, the charter would serve as a tool for inclusion and a strategic roadmap for developmental processes for stakeholders with a clear objective of inclusion of women with disabilities in the political sphere and other sectors.
“Relevant Government actors must domesticate relevant regional and international conventions and frameworks in Nigeria, including the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
“Also to be domesticated are its Protocol; and the Protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa, the United Nations Charter on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” she said.
She also recommended immediate implementation of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Act (2019), provisions on political and electoral participation taking into consideration the need for Gender equality and equity.
John also stressed the need for electoral reform to provide for affirmative actions targeting women with disabilities as a criteria for registration of political parties.
She also said that relevant stakeholders must provide dedicated funding for women’s political participation aimed at achieving 35 per cent affirmative action in elective and appointive positions in 2023 and beyond.
She said that “The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Inter-party Advisory Councils must set and implement requirements that mandate Political parties to have in their decision-making organs women with disabilities before registration.
“Convene National Women with Disabilities Summit and conduct a survey on women with disabilities inclusion.
“Commence the process of development of the first National Disability Inclusion Framework for Women with Disabilities in Nigeria,” she said.
According to her, the charter of demands has 11 articles, consisting the rights of women with disabilities to work, demonstrate political will and commitment to gender equality and empowerment, education, economy, health, security.
Others include protection during election, leadership and management of executive opportunities, involvement in the informal sector, and access to physical structures.
Also, Mary Musa, Legal practioner and Secretary, Network of Women with Disabilities, stressed the need for government to ensure safety, security and protection of People with Disabilities (PWDs) during the forthcoming election.
“We urge the government even as 2023 election is coming up that they provide systems and structures for the security of women with disabilities,” she said.
She also stressed the need that the forthcoming census exercise should capture data of PWDs.
Similarly, Ms Rose Daniel, Vice President II, NWD, stressed the need for the government and other stakeholders to prioritise education, empowerment and health of PWDs. (NAN)