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Regional News Thu, 5 Dec 2019

Ghana marks 2019 International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Ghana on Tuesday yesterday joined the world to commemorate the 2019 International Day of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) which falls on December 3 each year.

The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) organised the event on the theme: “Disability inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) : Renewing commitments and mobilising support from stakeholders.”

The theme focuses on the empowerment of persons with disabilities for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development as envisaged in the 2030 agenda for sustainable development which pledges “to leave no one behind” and recognises disability as cross-cutting issue to be considered in the implementation of SDG 17.

The celebration was aimed to promoting greater commitment and partnerships that supports inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Ghana.

Also at the event, the Disability Shadow report on the SDGs was launched with the aim of bringing to the fore Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPWDs) contribution to the six main goals that took a centre stage at 2019 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York.

The Chairman of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, Yaw Ofori Debrah, in his address said the attitudes of some Ghanaians and some cultural practices had excluded PWDs from performing certain roles in their various communities.

He said despite challenges faced by PWDs, there had been some reasonable progress in areas of education and employment, adding that PWDs had benefitted from all levels education and also received a fair share of appointment in government.

Mr Debrah said PWDs should build on their capabilities and competencies so that they could easily be included in the implementation of the SDGs, adding “We will also need to increase our advocacy while pressing government for policy legislation that will include persons with disability.”

He called on the private sector to adopt a diversity policy that would remind them that PWDs were part of the society and needed to be employed.

Mr Debrah advised them not to look at the physical stature of the persons with disability, but “rather look at their competencies and employ or appoint them to various positions”.

He said the council would soon engage political parties to make it a policy to have PWDs as part of their nominees for various positions to be contested for in the party.

The president of GFD, Mawunyo Yakor-Dagbah, said the observance of the day was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly resolution to promote the rights, inclusion, participation and well-being of persons with disabilities in all sectors of the society.

She called on stakeholders to effectively and fairly address the growing needs of the marginalised and vulnerable population in eradicating poverty and inequality in the society. `
Source: ghanaiantimes.com.gh