The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) has called on public healthcare institutions to offer equal and better health care services, especially on sexual and reproductive health to women with disabilities.

Madam Rita Kusi Kyeremaa, the Executive Director of the GFD, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said women with disabilities faced multifaceted discrimination in health institutions in areas of reproductive healthcare.

She said because of the ill-treatment, women with disabilities were unwilling, in most cases, to visit a health facility for medical care.

She said the Federation was, therefore, working on reports that would discourage discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) in all sectors of the economy.

The reports when developed, she said, would form part of a global report that would be used to advocate for the rights of PWDs locally and internationally.

Madam Kyeremaa disclosed that women with disabilities often faced challenges in marriages and their rights were underrated by families and society.

“When it comes to job search too, preferences are often given to men with disabilities to the detriment of women with disabilities,” she said.

She, however, noted that, the District Assembly Common Fund and the Disability Act had no specific provisions for the protection of the rights of women with disabilities, adding that, it was a hindrance to their welfare.

She said: “The Affirmative Action Bill developed by government is to promote women’s rights. However, it has no provision for the rights of women with disabilities. The Bill fails to provide special needs and support for such women to promote equal access to rights as their non-disabled counterparts”.

The Executive Director disclosed that the Federation, as part of its achievements, last year started developing an alternative report on the implementation of a convention required by the United Nations to enhance the advocacy for the rights of PWDs globally.

She said the Federation focused on the challenges its members faced in enjoying their rights and privileges in the society in the celebration of the 2018 International Day of PWDs.

Madam Kyeremaa said a petition to that affect was sent to the Ministries of Roads and Highways, Works and Housing, and the Gender, Children and Social Protection, and was assured of support for the PWDs.

She explained that the Federation had initiated a capacity building programme for PWDs at the district and national levels to empower them as effective advocates to engage service providers and duty bearers on their rights and concerns.

She said the Federation was pleased to have advocated for the government to inaugurate the National Council on Persons with Disabilities to protect the rights of PWDs, saying, it was an achievement on their part.

She commended the government for appointing some PWDs for leadership roles and recruiting a number of them onto the Nation Builders Corps programme through a more flexible system of registration.



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