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Deaf women call for review of Disability Act for more recognition



Executive Members of DWAN sitting at the high table at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja

ABUJA- Deaf Women Association of Nigeria (DWAN) on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to review the Disability Act to give more recongnition to deaf women in the country.

The President of the association, Mrs Hellen Beyioku-Alase, who decried the neglect of deaf women, made the call at a news conference in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference was part of activities to mark the National Deaf Women Summit, and the 13th Annual General Conference (AGM) which began on Aug. 21.

The president also called for the support of government, NGOs, health care facilities, schools, religious leaders, business owners and the likes across the nation to create an inclusive community for the deaf women.

She called on them to make the provision of sign language interpreters available in all their activities, to make the environment inclusive for the deaf.

“In the past few years, our giant strides in women emancipation have birthed recognition of some deaf women across Nigeria.

“However, the successes recorded are a far cry relative to the population of our capable women and the less privileged deaf women in Nigeria.

“A deaf woman will mother several generations of hearing citizens.
Therefore, it is a disservice to the nation to marginalise the deaf woman and ignore her silent cry over gender-based violence,’’ she stressed.

Beyioku-Alase stated that the discrimination, gender-based violence and poor access remained big snares against the deaf women, adding that till date, members still faced violence and subjugation from men.

According to her, deaf women have had discrimination in the areas of employment, zero/poor access to health care, education, public women-centered policies which can better the lives of less-privileged deaf women hidden everywhere in the nation.

“I am optimistic of a better future where deaf women are liberated and empowered to live with dignity and excel in their chosen paths towards achieving equality in all spheres of human endeavour.

Ms Jenebu Anjebe, National Vice President, DWAN, also called on government to make hospital services free for deaf women, and special provision for them by the Ministry of Women Affairs.

Mrs Damilare Olakuleyin, National Secretary General, DWAN noted that the review of the Disability Act would force all agencies of government to do what was in the law.

According to Olakuleyin, Women are disadvantaged in politics, and that there is need to have a specific slot where deaf women will be recognised in all the houses of assembly in the country. (NAN)

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