Make our lives worth living: Amend Disability Act—PWDs

“We have women with disability who go to seek sexual reproductive healthcare services when they are pregnant and are given wrong medications and the foetuses in their wombs are aborted simply because the doctors cannot communicate to them in accessible forms.”

Mr Alexander Bankole Williams, Chairman of the Advocacy Committee of the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD), said whiles narrating the ordeals of persons living with disabilities in Ghana.

At a press conference in Accra on Thursday, the GFD called on the Government to expedite the amendment of the Disability Act, 2006 (Act 715) to promote and protect the rights of PWDs in the country.

The Federation argued that the law, in its current form, was fraught with inadequacies and did not conform to the dictates of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), ratified by Ghana in 2012.

The Federation argued that Act 715 did not have any provision on specific rights of children and women with disabilities or any relevant measures to deal with their issues.

They said although Section 6 and 7 of the Act talked about accessibility to the built environment as well as goods and services, the law had no Legislative Instrument to spell out the details regarding how those rights ought to be accessed.

“It has no detail on the specific right to life of persons with disability particularly in a country like Ghana where the lives of children are being taken away because they are born with certain categories of disabilities,” Mr Williams said.

“Our lives are not worth living. It is too depressing to live as a person with Disability in Ghana,” he lamented.

Act 715 was passed by Parliament on June 23, 2006 and received the assent of the President on August 9, 2006.

The CRPD defines PWDs as people who have physical or sensory impairments that, when combined with other obstacles, prevent them from fully and effectively participating in society on an equal footing with others.

In Ghana, PWDs form eight per cent translating to 2,098,138 of the population, according to the 2021 Population and Housing Census.

The census data indicates that the percentage of the Ghanaian population over the age of 65 years is 3.14 per cent (approximately 967,000 people).

Ms Mawunyo Yakor Dagbah, National President, GFD, said the Federation was available to provide technical support towards the re-enactment of Act 715.

“The disability movement will not countenance any delays whatsoever so far as the process of the amendment is concerned as a simple review and subsequent amendment of Act 715 has taken over ten years to get to this point,” she said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Ghana News Agency

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