NGOs seek end to gender-based-violence against PWDs
Two Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), The Leprosy Mission Nigeria and the Disability Rights Advocacy Centre (DRAC), have called for more prevention and protective actions to end sexual and gender-based violence against Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), in the society.
The call was made yesterday in Abuja, during a press conference to commemorate the 16 days of activism and the International Day for Persons With Disabilities, with the theme, “Unite: Protect the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to Accessible Sexual and Reproductive Health, including Gender Based Violence, interventions”.
At the event, Gender Advisor, The Leprosy Mission Nigeria, Stella Udobong, noted that the international campaign is observed every year to raise visibility around the call for the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence.
“Two out of three women in Nigeria experience some form of violence in their lifetime. For women and girls with disabilities, they are often faced with disproportionately high rates of gender-based violence, sexual abuse, neglect, maltreatment and exploitation.
“Studies show that girls with disabilities are twice likely to experience gender-based violence compared to women and girls without disabilities. Most vulnerable to violence are children on the autism spectrum, as well as women and girls with hearing, visual or intellectual disabilities”, Udobong said.
She added that while society denies PWDs their sexual and reproductive health rights, they remain the most sexually violated and abused, most often by caregivers and family members.
She called on the media to amplify the voices and rights of PWDs, to sexual reproductive health rights, speak against gender-based violence, the need for inclusion, and assistive technologies and ensure the use of right terminologies devoid of discriminatory language for PWDs.