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Constitution Review: Disabled Women group demands 5% of 35% slot

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Network of Disabled Women, a group under the aegis of ‘Network of Women with Disabilities (NWD) headed by Lois Auta has tasked the women folk and government to consider them for 5% of the 35% affirmative action, saying that it would ensure their integration into the society.

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Their demand was at the backdrop of the
National Gender Policy which has been formulated with the 35% affirmative action for women, but which the women with disabilities were not succinctly captured.

The 35% affirmative action had come into effect since 2006, thus, seeing women being elected and appointed into political offices.

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Speaking with journalists at a two Day National Consultation centered on the discourse; Young Women in Governance and Young Women with Disabilities as enshrined in the 1999 constitution and the proposed women fair representation in elective and appointive positions bill 2020, Lois stressed that what they were asking is 5% of the 35% already reserved for women. adsbygoogle || []).push({});

She opined: “It is estimated that 15% of the world’s population live with some form of disability and that prevalence is higher among women, as about 1 in 5 women 18 years and older live with one.

“The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which includes gender equality as one of its general principles, recognizes ‘that disability is an evolving concept and that disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

“In 2019, women still represented a small minority of elected representatives and political decision-makers everywhere.

“Worldwide, only 24.3% of parliamentarians, 6.6% of heads of state, and 5.2% of heads of government are women. Data on political participation of women with disabilities is scarce.”

Lois lamented that women with disabilities’ participation and representation was relatively low in politics, noting that the 5% demand would invigorate them.

“The representation of women from organizations of persons with disabilities tends also to be low in national coordination mechanisms on disability matters” and that their representation “in national machinery for gender equality is even lower.

She further maintained that women with disabilities participation in Nigeria politics was at a zero level, demanding governmen

She concluded that, in Nigeria, women with disabilities participation in politics is at zero level. “We need to do more to achieve disability inclusion in the political sphere.”

On whether she is satisfied with the current effort of Government in carrying along people with disabilities she responded in the negative but however pointed out that to consciously include them.

Speaking on the future of women with disabilities, she said, the National Disability Commission and the National Disability Act were helpful in their agitation, adding that before the year, 2030, they would have achieved that.

“So we want to see inclusion, the full participation of women and women with disabilities in the political spheres in Nigeria.”

Lois Auta who contested to represent Amac/Bwari in the House of Representatives in 2019, General election on the platform of Accord Party believed that the perception of people about those with disabilities were gradually changing.

“Another point is I ran for office because I wanted to challenge the narrative, I want to see person’s with disabilities on the ballot paper, not just on the ballot paper but in various elective positions.”

The two day conference which started on Friday was in partnership with Cedar Seed Foundation and Actionaid.

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