ENGAGEMENT WITH PWDs ON GENDER BASED VIOLENCE AND DISCRIMINATION

Engaged with PWD's

On Sunday 18th June, 2023, the Department of Social Welfare and Community Development had an Engagement with Persons with Disabilities on Gender Based Violence and Discrimination at the Ablekuma West Municipal Assembly Hall, Zodiac. The objective of the programme is to enlighten participants on their human rights and empower them to fight against gender based violence and discrimination.

The facilitator ensured that, all persons present understood the languages used, and each and every one was comfortable. She solicited participants’ views and understand on Gender Violence and discriminated. Many expressed their views and cited example cases of a married woman over the radio who was abused by her husband as a result of her disability and another stripped naked, filmed and circulated on social media. They added that, persons who go through such violence are to report to the nearest police station. Participants spoke emotionally on how people stigmatized and discriminate against PWDs.

Engaged with PWD's

The facilitator stated that every person has rights, which is inherent in human beings and any violation to these rights is an abuse. She mentioned that, gender based violence can be seen in different forms such as physical, verbal, sexual, emotional/psychological, economical. Example are a man who stops his wife from working and refuses to take up responsibilities. Wife who hails insult on her children or husband at least provocation among others. She explained that women, men and children suffer from gender based violence however, women and girls are the most victims. She shows cased some flash cards depicting various forms of abuse which happens in our daily lives.

Individual risk factors of gender based violence and discrimination; one’s knowledge on his rights and responsibilities, sex, age and disability were also discussed. She added that, participants including children need to be informed and educated on their rights, signs of abuse, violence, so as not to fall prey to abusive acts or act appropriate/y when they find them in such. Parents are to see their wards welfare as many are lured because they lack one or two things in their lives. She explained that children are vulnerable and children with special needs are extremely vulnerable hence should be handled with love, care and attention they deserve. Also, they should report instances of abuse to Social Welfare Department, DOVVSU, CHRAG and Legal Aid for needed assistance and services.

Engaged with PWD's

On discrimination among and against PWDs, she entreated participants not to take to begging on the street but learn a skill and engage in meaningful trading and increase their confidence and self-esteem to prevent discrimination. They should take advantage of the various social interventions; PWDs share of the District Assemblies Common Fund, free National Health Insurance Scheme for the indigents among others put in place by Government. Participants were again, assured of the Department continuous public education and collaboration with other agencies. on the subject matter.

Participants shared their sad experiences on how they’ve been approached and discriminated against and encouraged. They requested families to support the disabled in their possible way they can, because the love should first come from them before reflecting outside. The facilitator added that, God has His own way of doing things as persons living disabilities are very fast learners and could be a great beneficial to the society when treated and handled fairly. They were urged to join associations that seeks their welfare. Since, it is important to have a common front to fight against any abuse and discrimination. In view of that, a participant (fashion designer) pledged to freely train and called the attention of two people interested to learn tailoring.

In conclusion, the district president of the Ghana Federation of the Disabled thanked participants for their presence and entreated them to register their businesses so that, they can access any opportunity that comes their way. He also, expressed their appreciation to the Department. The meeting was successful and ended on the note that, PWDs are just like any other human being and should be treated with love and respect everywhere.