Sunday, October 25, 2009
Greetings from Pakistan Disabled Peoples’ Organization (PDPO/DPI – Pakistan),
The issue of disability is gaining more and more importance all over the world as well as in Pakistan due the disability movement for a “rights based society” initiated by organizations of PWDs themselves since almost two decades. World Bank, World Health Organization and other donor and development agencies have included this issue in their mandates. Governments have framed various policies for PWDs including reservation of jobs, concession facilities in travelling, special training institutions etc. The Government of Pakistan has made efforts to support the rights of Persons with Disabilities in the view of BMF and National Policy on disability and now Alhamdurillah Pakistan has signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
However, despite these efforts, the sad fact is that most people with disabilities especially women with disabilities and their families remain completely un-served by government, NGOs and even DPOs.
Women with disabilities are disadvantaged in several key areas when compared with other women, men with disabilities, and the society as a whole. These women face a triple handicap and discrimination due to their disability, gender and developing world status. At the same time, Stigma remains in society at large, within communities, and even, in many cases of uneducated segments of society, within families who see disabled women as a loss of productive potential and a drain on family resources. So, while on the one hand, the strong cultural family network ensures their financial security, on the other, the stigma often results in their remaining invisible members of society.
The major barrier to employment and other socio-economic benefits for Women with Disabilities in our society continues to be attitudinal barriers; stereotypical thinking and assumption about what women with disabilities can and can’t do.
The truth is that, the range of abilities of persons within any disabilities group is enormous, we have a large number of women with disabilities in Pakistan who are taking part in the activities of daily life with courage, there is dire need to involve that women as a role model or highlight their efforts to understand the social and economic realities and possibilities with regards to disability.
We need to get rid of our stereotypical images and view each “individual” as just that “an individual”. Access to and sharing of information resources can build the capacity of local and national disability organizations, promote advocacy by and for people with disability and improve the quality of life experienced by women with disabilities.
The fist humble step of this forum is to bridge the information and communication gap between all the leading women with disabilities in Pakistan.
On behalf of PDPO/DPI – Pakistan, I would like to request you all to share your short profile with us by the end of this week, after the completion of selection process of forum members, we will decide the date for Coordination Meeting.
Your feedback and coordination will assist us to make it successful
Looking forward to hear from you,
Chairperson - NFWWDs
Women Coordinator – PDPO/DPI,