REPORTER: AMECHI ODO
A Non Governmental Organisation, Women’s Right and Health Project (WRAHP), has called for a concerted effort towards tackling increasing cases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) against Women and Girls Living with Disabilities in Ebonyi State.
The Executive Director of the Organization, Mrs. Bose Ironsi, made this known in Abakaliki during a three-day capacity building on access to justice for Women and Girls Living with Disabilities in the state.
She observed that due to widespread discrimination, extensive rights violation, neglect, and stigmatization, Women and Girls Living with Disabilities were at greater risk of physical, sexual and economic abuse compared to those without disabilities.
She attributed the development to lack of information and limited capacity of women living with disabilities to access sexual and reproductive rights and reporting.
Ironsi said “there are several factors that informed this training. We know that there is a high prevalence of SGBV and when you are talking about inclusion, it means you need to carry everybody along, information needs to get to men, women, everybody specifically those that are mostly vulnerable.
“And if you see what has been happening here and from the voices that we have been hearing, women with disabilities are much more vulnerable when it comes to issues of SGBV.”
For her part, the Deputy Coordinator of Gender Based Violence (GBV) Taskforce team in the state, the Reverend Flora Egwu, noted that with the training more Persons with Disabilities would be sensitized in the hinterlands to their sexual and economic rights.
“The rate of violence against women with disabilities is very high and because of their disabilities, they seem not to understand but the GBV taskforce is working hard, sensitizing them.
“The society is another great challenge they have because the society have a mindset about disabled persons and they don’t consider them to be part of the society.
“With this WRAHP advocacy training, it will no longer be business as usual, it will equip them to advocate for their rights whenever their rights are violated,” she said.
Some of the Women and Girls Living with Disabilities called for more of such training to educate them on their rights and how to pursue justice against violators.
EDITED BY CHUKWUBUIKE MADU