General News of 2013-12-30

‘Involve physically challenged persons in governance’

The Ghana Society of the Physically Disabled (GSPD) has appealed to the government to involve physically challenged persons in governance.

They said the government should include 10 per cent of disabled persons in the thirty per cent government appointments to the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs).

Addressing the press in Accra last Wednesday, the National President of GSPD, Mr Joseph Adu-Boampong, said it was time society focused on the abilities of the disabled rather than their impairments.

That, he said, would affirm the 1992 Constitution’s provision of prohibiting discrimination and prejudice by taking measures to ensure that people participated effectively in decision making at every level in national life and in government.

He quoted Section One of the Persons With Disability’s (PWD) Act, 2006 (Act 715) which states: “A person with disability shall not be deprived of the right to live with that person’s family or the right to participate in social, political, economic, creative or recreational activities.”

Although, there were very few disabled persons in the public sector, he urged the government to increase the number to enable them to contribute their quota to the development of the country.

“The inadequacy of political participation can be considered among the major challenges confronting persons with disabilities in Ghana,” he stated.

Mr Adu-Boampong noted that the vision of the disability movement was to have PWDs participate in politics at all levels of governance, ranging from the district, regional to national level of politics.

He noted that no person was disqualified from being elected or appointed to a district assembly by reason only of his status, position, profession or physical disability.

Appeal

Mr Adu-Boampong appealed to the government to abolish all negative cultural practices that served as obstacles to the participation of PWDs in governance at the local level.

He also requested that the Social Service Sub-Committee in the district assembles should include persons with disabilities.

“The government should provide assistive devices and technologies, as well as an enabling environment in the MMDAs to facilitate an effective participation of People With Disabilities in the governance and decision-making processes at the local level,” Mr Adu-Boampong opined.