BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
THE Institute for Community Development Zimbabwe (ICODZim) is set to host the first competition on disability rights on April 16.
ICODZim said after realisation that women with disabilities (WWD) still face numerous challenges such as communication and distance barriers in accessing sexual reproductive health rights services, the organisation designed a project to promote the uptake and access of such services by women and girls with disabilities.
ICODZim communications and advocacy officer Elinera Manyonga said seven months into the project, the organisation discovered that WWDs suffer from sexual violence and abuses, but most of their cases go unreported.
In most cases, they do not receive justice because law officers stigmatise and stereotype them.
“One other major challenge which barricade people with disabilities (PWDs) from enjoying their constitutionally-granted rights to health services and justice is poor inconsistent policies,” Manyonga said.
“The main reason is to unravel and bring to attention the sad, uncouth and uncivilised reality that even after the Beijing Conference, 41 years of independence and an amended Constitution, WWDs are still not getting justice and their sexual reproductive rights are severely compromised.”
“ICODZim remains committed in lobbying, advocating and championing the rights and fair opportunities for WWDs,” she said.
“We will leave no stone unturned in achieving this and we will roll out more dynamic, progressive and inclusive programmes in our endeavour to achieve our vision and consolidate it.
“Participating institutions are the University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University, Midlands State University and the Great Zimbabwe University.”
She said the aim of the competition was to bridge the gap in access to reproductive sexual rights by WWDs, hence the law students from the mentioned universities will be participating.
“The competition seeks to identifying gaps within Zimbabwean legal frameworks that hinder WWDs, survivors of sexual abuse and violence from accessing justice,” she said.
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