Int’l Women’s Day: Legislator advocates equal rights for women with disabilities

From Teryima Ajijah, Jos

The only female member of the Plateau State House of Assembly, out of the 24 legislators, Mrs Esther Dusu, has charged women to rise and fight for their rights, irrespective of their disabilities.

The lawmaker stated this Monday, at an event organised by a non governmental organisation “Perfect Peculiar Foundation” (PPF) to mark this year International Women’s Day for women with disabilities in Plateau State.

Mrs Dusu, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member who represents Jos North West in the Plateau state House of Assembly, while speaking with journalists shortly after the event, said the Nigerian constitution of 1999 as amended, gives equal rights to women just as it ascribe to the male folk, therefore, no one should be discriminated upon.

The female legislator tasked government at all levels and private employers of labour not to discriminate against women with disabilities.

In her remark, Founder of the PPF Foundation, Mrs Patricia Pam, a physically challenged woman who has been confined to a wheel chair for 17 years a car accident, which affected her spinal-cord, told the gathering that, the event was to motivate physically challenged women to have a sense of belonging.

She condemned those who stereotype against physically challenged persons, particularly the women folk to have a rethink.

It was gathered that the name of the non governmental organisation (PPF) was formed to remember her two of Mrs Patricia Pam’s children who died, and to assist the less privileged.

Delivering a lecture titled: “Smashing Stereotypes and Discrimination against Women with Disabilities,” a peace advocate, Mrs Jirimwa Goyit, regretted that most physically challenged women in Nigeria feel inferior, hence, discrimination by others.

Mrs Goyit charged women, generally to seek further information on how best to better their lives in the society, and also contribute for the development of Nigeria.

She advocated that women should be involved in decision making, even at the nucleus family level.

“Women with disabilities should be given space in the public places,” she stated.

According to her, some women in Nigeria are discriminated upon because they believe that they are second class citizens based on their gender.

International Women’s Day was first celebrated in the year 1911 till date to accord recognition for the contribution of women in nation building.

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