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Disabled women urged to apply for loans

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DISABLED Women in Africa (Diwa) yesterday called on various government departments and civic society organisations to champion the cause of people with disabilities.

BY LUYANDUHLOBO MAKWATI/MTHANDAZO NYONI

Diwa, in collaboration with Disabled Women Support Organisation, is holding a three-day workshop in Bulawayo to advocate for dignity and respect for women with disabilities in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole.

The workshop, which is a build-up to the project that started last year, seeks to promote sexual and reproductive health rights of women with disabilities.

Vaida Muchangwa, who represented the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, urged women with disabilities to take part in government programmes as her office was now working to grant loans to women.

“I believe through these platforms you will be able to share the knowledge that would help women with disabilities come to our office with meaningful proposals that we will inspect and then grant loans to them,” she said.

Diwa board chairperson Isaac Nyathi said there was need for government departments and the general populace to accept disability as anyone could fall into danger of being disabled.

“We need to promote the interest of women and girls with disabilities, especially on issues related to sexual reproductive rights,” he said.

“We want to come up with a position paper within the context of Zimbabwe that we are going to present to relevant authorities.

“There are problems with issues to do with access to health services and we feel the government is not doing enough in that regard.”

He added: “The information on sexual reproductive rights should be made available through material such as braille. We are advocating for redress of those issues.”

Nyathi said infrastructure at health institutions in the country was not friendly for people with disabilities.

He urged the government and the council to address the issue with immediate effect, arguing that people with disabilities have rights to proper health.

He said there was need for people in the country to accept persons with disability as they were human beings too.

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