The Nigerian Government has restated its commitment to address issues affecting Women and children living with disabilities across the country.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Nura Alkali stated this in Abuja, at a one-day meeting on the development of strategies for care and support for women and children with disabilities in Nigeria.
Represented by the Director, Humanitarian Affairs in the Ministry, Alhaji Ali Grema, the Permanent Secretary said there were still significant gaps in the mainstream operations of gender and disabilities at field levels.
According to him, women and children are often times underrepresented in decision making processes.
“Discrimination against PWDs Act 2018 provides for full integration of PWDs in the society and also set out general obligations and specific measures required for implementation”. He said
He said there was need for all stakeholders to work together as no single actor or stakeholder, working alone, can implement the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Act of 2018 effectively.
“Thus, the Minister, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq last year inaugurated the Coalition of NGOs for the care and support of women and girls with disabilities in order to promote and advance their rights and we are 100 per cent committed to that,” Alkali said.
The Director Special Needs in the Ministry, Mrs Nkechi Onwukwe, said the meeting was aimed at evolving strategies on holistic care and support for women and children with disabilities.
Onwukwe said this was in line with Social Development Goals numbers 1, 3 and 5, adding that the Ministry would continue with its concerted efforts towards addressing issues that relate to persons with disabilities in Nigeria.
In his remarks, Executive Secretary of the Commission for Persons Living with Disabilities, Mr James Lalu, said issues of women with disabilities were of priority attention to the commission.
He said key amongst them is accessing free health care delivery and education.
Lalu encouraged all persons living with disabilities to always report issues of harassment, discrimination and stigmatization against them to the commission.
“We have about five lawyers who are always ready to take up any legal issue concerning persons with disabilities in the country.
For his part, the CEO and Founder, Albino Foundation, Mr Jack Epelle, said Churches and Mosques in the country are not disability friendly.
“It is good to have structures that are friendly to all spheres of the society. This will enhance inclusion that would enhance the lives of persons living with disability”.
Also speaking, Gender Inclusion Specialist, Save the Children, Mrs Mariam Abbas said the Organisation had programmes to strengthen protection for children and women.
“Inclusion would enhance accessibility which in turn promotes active participation of persons with disabilities”. She added
The meeting was attended by Women and Children with disabilities as well as key stakeholders in the PWDs space.
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