By Kelvin Ololo
A None Governmental Organization (NGO) Project Alert has cried out against allege discrimination, exclusion and abuse of persons living with disability and the prevalent case of gender based violence. Calling on the Governor of Cross River State Sen. Ben Ayade to sign the impending bill of discrimination against persons with disability into law.
The call was made at the end of a two days partnership workshop held at Transcorp Hotel Calabar, with the theme “Gender Based Violence and Women With Disabilities in Akwa Ibom and Cross River State”.
When Speaking, Dr. Glory Eteng Bassey of the department of Social Works, University of Calabar said that “Disability is socially constructed and its consequences are largely social, most female (women and girls) with disability in Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State are relatively young from statistics gathered, and we have more women with disability in Cross River than Akwa Ibom State” she said.
Adding that a significant numbers of women with disability are not aware of what constitute violence owing to lack of sensitization, which visually impede persons (the blind) and deaf are mostly affected due to their vulnerability.
On his part, Barr. James Ibor, explaining the Cross River State Disability bill: issues arising and the way forward” succinctly opined that “the law should promote gender parity in constituting commission and implementing what we have both national and State”.
Other ways reached at the end of the workshop include; domestication of the convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, working with and using available data to communicate with relevant authorities, sensitizing and creating effective awareness on what constitute abuses, Government to appoint professional individuals to handle positions in the commission and passing the discrimination bill into law.
On a final note, the Executive Director Project Alert, Mrs. Josephine Effah-Chukuma admonished respective participants, agencies, ministries, departments, civil society groups, mass media and social media influencers to raise their voices against discriminating disable people saying that disability can come to anyone at anytime.
The highlight of the workshop was the learning of sign language.
It will be recall that President mohammadu Buhari on the 23rd January 2018 signed into law the discrimination against persons with disabilities (prohibition) Act 2018. While Cross River and her sister Akwa Ibom State are yet to do so.
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