Voices of Women and Childrean with Disabilities in Ghana (VOWACGHANA), an advocacy organisation, has held a breast cancer awareness and screening exercise for some women with disabilities at Apam in the Gomoa West Municipality of the Central Region.
On Tuesday, October 24, 2023, a total of 80 women and young ladies were sensitized on the causes of breast cancer, the signs and symptoms, self examination and also urged to seek early intervention anytime they notice any changes in their breasts.
In an interview with DisabilityNewsGH, the board chairperson of VOWACGHANA, Madam Doris Ndebugri bemoans how organisers of events often forget about persons with disabilities.
She observes that in organising activities like breast cancer awareness and screening, women with disabilities are often not considered and, therefore, no arrangements are made to address their peculiar needs to encourage their participation.
Madam Doris Ndebugri notes that inaccessible event venues and the absence of sign language interpreters for the deaf, and other barriers, discourage women with disabilities from patronizing such events.
“It is for this reason that VOWACGHANA organised the event for women and girls with disabilities”, she says.
She calls for conscious targeting of persons with disabilities when planning public activities.
She adds that making a conscious effort to address the needs of persons with disabilities will enhance their full participation in society.
The occasion was also used to educate the women on their civic rights.
The Gomoa West Municipal office of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), was invited to educate the women, as the country prepares for this year’s district assembly elections and the general elections next year.
Just as in the case of accessing health care, the inaccessibility of most voting centres was one of the concerns raised by the women.
They say that makes things difficult for them at the centres.
Even though by the Electoral Commission’s special arrangement, persons with disabilities, the aged, and pregnant women are supposed to be allowed to vote ahead of the other citizens, the women complained that in the previous elections, including the last general election, they were made to join queues like the other voters.
Some of them also disclosed that at a few centres where the Electoral Commission officials attempted to allow them to vote early, the other voters objected to it.
The VOWACGHANA board chairperson called for the education of both the Electoral Commission officials and the general public on affirmative action on voting for persons with disabilities.
The progromme was funed by Ghanaian churches in the US and Disability Rights Fund.