Fourteen Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), eight males and six females, have filed to contest District Assembly Elections in the Agortime-Ziope and Adaklu districts in the Volta Region in March.
Three of the candidates, two males and a female, are competing for the position of Assembly Members and rest as Unit Committee members.
The PWD contestants are under the tutelage of VOICE-Ghana, a Ho-based disability rights advocacy NGO.
Mr Francis Asong, Director of Voice-Ghana told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Sunday that the push of PWDs into local governance was under a project funded by STAR-Ghana.
He said there was also a national version of the programme, under which VOICE-Ghana, with funding from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) prepared 22 other PWDs from 15 districts across the country to contest the District Assembly (DA) Level Elections.
Mr Asong said eight in this category had filed their nominations to contest as Assembly Members in their respective electoral areas, while the remaining fourteen 14 would contest as Unit Committee Members.
Mr Asong said citizen participation was a cornerstone of local governance and inclusive development, which therefore, must involve every segment of society.
He said the principle that citizens, through their representatives were involved in the planning, implementation and monitoring of development processes of their communities was a human right.
Mr Asong said it was therefore proper that marginalization of PWDs was tackled actively and their needs catered for at all levels of development.
He said the programmes were purposeful and intent on contributing to breaking the spiraling vicious-cycle of ‘overwhelmed PWD constituents against a rather exclusive society’.
VOICE-Ghana as part of the projects had taken various constituents of PWDs through many settings including PWD rights awareness, education on international and local statutes regarding PWDs and capacity building.
DFID, UKaid, DANIDA and USAID are the funding counterpart agencies of STAR-Ghana.
VOICE-Ghana recently set-up a Research and Consultancy Unit as a Disability Think-Tank to play active and leading role in policy advocacy and inclusive governance for persons with disabilities.