A non-governmental organization, Women in Need (WIN), is holding a series of sessions aimed at promoting equal rights for women and girls with disabilities.

The event, ‘Promoting Equal Rights for Women and Girls with Disabilities (PERD)’ was introduced to promote the fundamental human rights of women and girls with disabilities, particularly the rights to employment and protection from sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) in Ghana.

The PERD project, a three-year program that is expected to run from September 2021 to August 2024, is funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana and implemented by Women in Need (WIN) in the southern zone, Planned Parenthood Association Ghana in the middle zone, and the Africa Centre for Human Rights and Sustainable Development (AfCHuRSD) in the northern zone of Ghana.

NGO holds stakeholder engagements on rights for women and girls with disabilities

The engagement session is being held with the social justice institutions and other key stakeholders in the Gomoa West and Ajumako/Enyan/Essiam districts and Mfantseman Municipal Assemblies.

Executive Director for WIN, Susie Arku, assured stakeholders of the organization’s maximum cooperation and resources but also solicited their support in implementing the PERD project successfully.  “We hope that with all of us coming together to work, we will be able to achieve our target as well as support and empower women and girls with disabilities in our communities.”

NGO holds stakeholder engagements on rights for women and girls with disabilities
Executive Director for WIN, Susie Arku

The Gomoa West District Special Education Officer, Maggita Ama Mill, expressed her appreciation for the introduction of such a project and pledged to support the implementation of the project in any way she and her office could.

She stated: “One of the major challenges women and girls with disabilities face is inclusion in all aspects of their lives, especially, in education or learning a trade.”

NGO holds stakeholder engagements on rights for women and girls with disabilities

She mentioned that most government schools do not have disability friendly infrastructure to support the education of people living with disabilities.

Some heads of schools, she explains, refuse to accept some children into their educational facilities because of their disability, while others refuse such children because they do not have the capacity to support the children with their special needs.

NGO holds stakeholder engagements on rights for women and girls with disabilities

Mr. John Tetteh, the GFD chair for Mfantseman Municipal Assembly, shared an incident that happened in Saltpond. A girl with a disability was sexually abused at Saltpond, “I, together with the victim’s mother, reported the case to DOVVSU, and the offender was arrested and prosecuted.” He added that when sexual violence is committed against women and girls with disabilities, citizens must stand behind the victim and help bring the culprit to book.

The Domestic Violence and Victims’ Support Unit (DOVVSU) of the Mfantseman Municipality affirmed the story and expressed content with the arrest and prosecution of the man. She assured the NGO that they are ready to support WGDs and incriminate perpetuators who commit sexual crimes against women and girls with disabilities.

NGO holds stakeholder engagements on rights for women and girls with disabilities

The traditional leader of Enyan Maim, Nana Odziadowa, who was present at the gathering, assured the support of traditional authorities in any way they could to help eliminate sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls and support their development.

He called on traditional and community leaders to enact by-laws to protect them from sexual and gender-based violence, among other discrimination and injustices faced by these victims.

The Equal Rights and Opportunities Project being implemented by Women in Need was brought to a close. The Program Director of WIN, Madam Abigail Addo-Quaye, highlighted the achievements, the lessons learned, and the challenges of the just-ended EROP project. The EROP Project was implemented in response to the numerous human rights challenges women and girls, in particular, continue to face in many communities and, as a result, are unable to realize what their rights and opportunities in life are.

Chairman of the Ghana Federation of the Disabled in the Mfantseman Municipality, John Tetteh, shared an incident that happened in Saltpond where a girl with disability was sexually assaulted: “I, together with the victim’s mother, reported the case to the Domestic Violence and Victims’ Support Unit (DOVVSU), and the offender was arrested and prosecuted.”

He added that when sexual violence is committed against women and girls with disabilities, there ought to be a clear attempt to stand behind the victim and help bring the culprit to book.

The DOVVSU unit of the Mfantseman Municipality affirmed the story and expressed that they were happy the family assisted in the process to arrest and prosecute him. She assured me that they are ready to support women and girls with disabilities and incriminate perpetrators who commit sexual crimes against them. The traditional leader of Enyan Maim, Nana Odziadowa, who was present at the gathering, assured the participants of the support of traditional authorities in any way they could to help eliminate sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls and support their development. He called on traditional and community leaders to team up and enact bylaws to protect such vulnerable people from sexual and gender-based violence.

Through the EROP project, WIN gave financial literacy skills and livelihood skills training to women in communities and enrolled about 10 girls who had dropped out of school back into school. Seven (7) girls were also enrolled in apprenticeship programs of their choice.

The engagement of chiefs on the project, she stated, also encouraged the Chief of Mumford in the Gomoa West District, Nana Edey XI, to personally report his niece’s husband for beating her every now and then.  

The team thanked all the stakeholders for their support and collaboration on the project, adding, “Congratulations to us all for the impact we have made in the lives of girls and women who benefited from the programs on the EROP project.”

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.


DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.