Activists have echoed the need for consideration of the women and girls living with disabilities in Uganda as they sail through the Covid-19 pandemic and the election wave.
While assessing the impact of covid-19 on women and girls with disabilities, the concerned persons and agencies have cited less representation of this special interest group in the village task forces and have, among other things, requested for a representing member on all task forces at all levels.
“Currently, we have a representative for people with disabilities in the Covid-19 task force. Hopefully, this trickles down to village task forces so that people like me are catered for during this Covid-19 period,” Beatrice Guzu, Executive Secretary of National Council for Disabilities (NCD) said.
According to Rose Achayo Obol, Chairperson Board of Directors of National Union of Women with Disabilities of Uganda (NOWUDO), government should increase the representation of PWDs in the newly created constituencies as the country gears up for the 2021 elections.
“Most of the PWDs, especially women, also want to aspire as candidates in different areas but they have issues with mobility. It is very costly for them, especially in their condition,” said Achayo.
“Recently, we engaged the Electoral Commission to see how best polling stations can be accessed by people with disabilities. They have promised to look into earlier proposals to ensure that this happens without fail,” Guzu stated.
Achayo also showed discontent against the sexual violence against women with disabilities.
“As women with disabilities, we are not being recognized. We are women and we have disabilities. The vulnerability is double. The cases of sexual assault on women with disabilities must stop and the government should help,” she stressed.
According to Florence Nightingale Mukasa, a social worker and member of International Aids Society, PWDs need to be provided with more information, for instance, about covid-19 and the information should be tailored for them.
“The government should work with us before making decisions like the ones on covid-19 because we are the ones that understand our disabilities. We know each other and also, know how best to handle our issues,” Ms Mukasa said.