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‘People with disability are capable of contributing to development’

Jul 14, 2015, 12:23 PM | Article By: Fatou Jallow

Having disability does not mean being a nuisance in society or retardation to development, as people with disability are capable of contributing to national development, the national coordinator of the Network against Gender-Based Violence (NGBV) has said.

Haddy Mboge said all that the people with disability need is recognition and support to be able to fulfill their dreams.

She made this statement on Friday during a daylong sensitisation of women with disabilities on violence against women organised by NGBV and bankrolled by Action Aid International The Gambia.

The awareness creation forum, held at GOVI Resource Centre in Kanifing, brought together disabled women from all over The Gambia.

It was meant to create awareness among the participants about their rights and show them the necessary steps and procedures to follow when their rights are violated.

The national coordinator of the NGBV said looking at gender-based violence, consideration should be made on those who are more vulnerable and statistics has proven that women and girls are more at risk.

A further breakdown of that statistics revealed that women and girls with disabilities are more vulnerable.

Mrs Mboge said the way society perceives disability is what makes people with disability more vulnerable.

Ebrima Dibasey, director of the Gambia Federation of the Disabled, said the situation of people with disability is delicate because some issues affecting them are always set aside.

This is particularly true of women with disabilities who confront serious human right violation, especially sexual violence.

“This is because they are weak as women coupled with their disability,” Mr Dibasey said, adding that the training will go a long way in helping them to know their rights and be able to claim it.

Speaking on behalf of the director of Action Aid, Fanta Jatta-Sowe said just being born as a woman posts some form of threats, this coupled with being disabled poses even greater challenge.

The women rights specialist said gender-based violence has no border but women with disabilities and less economic strength face a bigger burden of such violence.