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Amplify water, sanitation rights of women with disabilities- Group

Ms. Lois Auta, Founder, Network of Women with Disabilities has called on stakeholders to promote the water and sanitation rights for women with disabilities.

Auta said this on the sideline of the Stakeholders’ Forum of the Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene programme in Abuja on Wednesday.

She said this was necessary recognising the unique challenges they face in accessing these essential services.

According to her, women with disabilities often encounter additional barriers to accessing safe water and sanitation facilities.

“By amplifying their rights and needs, the group seeks to promote inclusivity and ensure that all individuals, regardless of disability, have equal access to clean water and sanitation services”.

Auta, referencing specific articles from the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, underscored the importance of ensuring equal rights and inclusion in legislation, policies, and practices.

“Article 9 is accessibility. Article 24 is education, Article 25 is health, I mentioned these articles because they are linked and they are interrelated in the work we do in WASH.

“For children with disabilities who are in schools, some have been rejected in schools because they don’t have toilet facilities due to their challenges and peculiarities of the types and forms of disabilities that they carry.

“We have many reports on that. For health, women and girls with disabilities were, in many instances, could not access health facilities due to one challenge after another, these are barriers.

“As we all know, women and girls with disabilities are treated jeopardised, first as a woman, secondly as a woman with disability, and lastly the barriers that we face, which could be infrastructural, institutional, and attitudinal”.

Auta shed light on the institutional barriers faced by individuals with disabilities, calling for greater involvement and inclusion in decision-making processes.

She questioned the accessibility of essential facilities such as toilets and water sources in schools, hospitals, and workplaces, highlighting the need for improved infrastructure to ensure equal access for all.

She emphasised the need for inclusivity in legislative and policy frameworks to ensure that the voices and concerns of people with disabilities are adequately represented.

Auta emphasised the importance of addressing these critical issues and called for solutions to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.

She expressed gratitude for the opportunity to raise awareness and urged for continued efforts to create a more inclusive society. (NAN)

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