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Tallen reiterates inclusion of PLWD’s

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The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, has restated the ministry’s commitment to inclusion of women and People Living With Disability (PLWD’s).

She said empowering them is another way of curbing Gender Based Violence.

Tallen stated this in Abuja during a two days capacity building on ‘disability related guide for media reporting on deaf survivors of SGBV against Deaf women,’ organised by Deaf Women Aloud Initiative, (DWAI), with support from Urgent Action Fund (UAF) .

Tallen, who was represented by a staff of the ministry Olabode Olayinka, pledged continuous support for women with disabilities.

“We aim at strengthening and empowering women who are living with disabilities. Violence is not a respecter of gender and we stand to fight against all forms of violence and protect the right of everyone,” she said.

In her welcome address, the  Executive Director, Deaf Women Aloud Initiative, Hellen Beyioku-Alase, lamented that the deaf women are at least twice more likely to be victims of gender Based Violence.

“Deaf women are at least twice as likely to be victims of abuse including violence than their hearing peers, due to barriers they experience in everyday life.

“For example, issues relating to communication, isolation, difficulty accessing information, difficulty of reporting/accessing post disclosure support, and difficulty accessing the wide range of justice services”

Speaking further in her welcome address, she said the topic sexual and gender based violence is not new but until the menace of sexual and gender based violence is curbed they cannot rest their oars.

“Until we have no more issues like Osinakachi Nwachukwu, we will continue to discuss this from the rooftop. This is one traumatic and unfortunate issue that women suffer day after day irrespective of class and societal difference. It is from this premise my organisation lends its voice to the ongoing crisis women suffer especially women who are deaf”.

Deaf women and girls live a life of deprivation and misery in silence, the most serious obstacles preventing them from accessing justice on issue of Gender Based Violence is because of their disabilities of hearing impairments which seemed invisible, thus making it hard for them to report cases of GBV. Alase added.

Highlight of the event was the unveiling of the handbook produced by the initiative to assist media person understand the issues of Deaf women and GBV.