Health News of 2014-06-29

GNAD frowns upon contempt against rural deaf women

Mr Robert Sampana, Advocacy Officer of Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD), has condemned the pervasive unfair treatment being meted out to deaf women living in rural communities.

He therefore urged national leaders and civil society bodies to intervene swiftly to reverse what he described as “the disdain actions”.

Mr Sampana told Ghana News Agency through e-mail conversation in Accra on Saturday that it is unfortunate that rural deaf women are regarded as blockheads, a perception which limits their access to education, employment, healthcare and leadership roles.

He said the obstinate discrimination carried out against deaf women compels them to live with it for the rest of their lives.

“Rural deaf women are living in a hostile environment characterised by struggle, agony, injustice and suffering,” he said.

Mr Sampana explained that in rural communities, deaf women are burdened with household chores, childbearing and exploited as sex objects.

He observed that deaf women are not given the freedom to make their decisions about intimate relations that affect them for the rest of their lives while in employment circles, relatively few of them are recruited.

“Sad to say, these deaf women who are not married have to bear the unfortunate situation of remaining unhappy for the rest of their lives.”

He asked: “How many deaf women are loved just like other hearing persons who struggle in one way or the other, to live a decent, meaningful or standard life?

The 2010 Population and Housing Census indicates that out of the 10,625 deaf persons in Ghana, an estimated 60, 500 constitute deaf women, most in living rural communities.

Mr Sampana noted that most deaf women experience untold suffering from childhood to adulthood and “no one appears to take the innate abilities of these lovely women seriously”.

He urged the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection and District Assemblies to partner GNAD “to comb out such negative perspectives so that the rural deaf woman can enjoy her human right… in life and contribute her worth for the development of her community”.