By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Masvingo – Amid the fight against Covid -19, women and girls with disabilities have been neglected during the Covid -19 pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a myriad of challenges and hard hit people, affecting livelihoods and disrupting social activities.
In an interview with Bustop TV, Charity Chiwaura said she is facing challenges and has noticed PWDs’ are not being well catered for.
“It is said that we all equal and should be given the same platform but it is quite different, people with disabilities are still being segregated a lot, l see it when l go to work, it is as if we cannot do anything alone and we always need assistance. Covid -19 has even made it worse as, many have been retrenched and those who are able bodied are the ones who have managed to secure their jobs. There is need for equal representation for all, if discrimination continues, as PWDs will never be able to have a better and safe space,” she said.
In an interview with the President of Disability Amalgamation Community Trust (DACT), Henry Chivhanga said little or no attention is being paid to those with disabilities in the community.
“PWDs are living unfavorable conditions and are facing challenges especially now in the Covid-19 era and nothing is being done. There were funds that were supposed to be received but this is not happening. I was once arrested for holding a one man demo against the social injustices against PWDs, l was advocating and lobbying against the segregation of the PWDs and how they are being marginalized in times like these which is a result of the poor economy of the country.
“A lot still needs to be done to make sure the community at large includes everyone as stated by the Constitution and will continue fighting,” he said.
Different organisations like the Zimbabwe Council of Churches have joined the fight for an equal space for people with disabilities especially during the Covid -19 pandemic.
ZCC believes in self-representation of PWDs and has thus far worked tirelessly in ensuring that their voices are heard.
The National Disability Policy calls for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all facets of life and to end discrimination, marginalization and exclusions of persons with all kinds of disabilities.
Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube last year indicated that the government had allocated a total of $200 million per month to cater for the vulnerable groups to help them see through during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The world report on Disability estimates that persons with disabilities constitute about 15% of the World’s population with about 80% located in low income countries. (WHO and World Bank 2013).
According to the 2013 National Survey on Living Conditions among PWDs in Zimbabwe, the prevalence of disability in the country is estimated to be 7% amounting to approximately 914 287 persons based on the total 2012 national census population of 13 061 239 (Ministry of Health and Child Care 2013).