DAA News Network

Kenya: Still a long way to go for disabled women

Posted 14/1-11 at 12.53

A ministry of gender and social development was set up two years ago and is beginning to address issues for disabled women in Kenya. Esther Murugi, the former Minister, has called for a census of disabled people as the first step to mainstream the issue of disability in the country.

Mishi Juma, a disabled community leader from the Coast region, says, "People living with disability face all sorts of discrimination. We are discriminated against at job interviews and in schools. Everyday is a battle to remain positive in the face of a world that is too bent on dismissing those among us that do not meet the standard of what is normal."

This is despite the fact that Kenya is one of the few countries in Africa with a Disability Act already in place and the government has committed itself to set up a multi million-dollar fund to address problems faced by disabled people.

But some feel not enough has been done. For example, Kanini Mugambi, an aspiring politician from Eastern Kenya, comments, "I have been dismissed even before being given an opportunity to speak my mind - firstly for just being a woman and then for being a woman who is not physically fit."

There are also real concerns about social attitudes towards disabled people and what this means for their confidence and place in society. "

This is because it is the same society that hides children born with disability from the world, denying them an opportunity to grow together with other children. And by the time they are exposed to society, the culture shock is too overwhelming for them," explains Hamisa Zaja, chairperson of disabled groups in the Coast region.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201101070238.html

 

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