The feeling of being Equal to others is still a big puzzle for Women and Girls with Disabilities -WGDs. This is mainly due a number of challenges they face on a daily basis, including negative attitudes, discrimination, isolation and exclusion from family and community activities, all of which tantamount to abuse and violation of human rights. IDIWA is constantly looking at innovative and creativity to be able to support her members in a changing environment. IDIWA is currently training WGDs in Human rights and advocacy to enhance their understanding and appreciation of their rights, and how to individually and collectively use them to demand for protection. WGDs demonstrated learning by sharing their life stories and intersecting disability and disparities, in relation to the legal frameworks and SGBV services during the training.
The beginning was tough; WGDs confessed “we have been ignorant of various forms of violence, how to handle and where to report cases. We now have the confidence to what we go through every day. We had been forced to think that nothing can be done in the face of abuse, inhuman and degrading treatment of WGD; we resorted to working and taking care of our children. Our spouses do not want to identify with us in public, and deny responsibility of fathering children with us. Our parents deny us the right to inherit land just like our siblings; we don’t own what we produce because we the land belongs to family members and spouses……….. WGDs lamented as they shared life stories. It was a touching moment, with a sense of guilt. They should have fought for their rights, only if they had the information they had just received.
The human rights and advocacy training came with a ray of hope. WGDs for the first time felt energized to go out and demand for services from duty bearers. They were encouraged them to build strong relationships and understanding with duty bearers in their advocacy efforts, always stand up for human rights and act as focal point persons for other WGDs.