Equality and human rights as laid down in the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities explained to women and girls living with disability
Last week, 29 women and girls living with some disability, with support from the the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) met in Honiara for three days training on gender equality and human rights focused on the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disability (CRPD) and women’s leadership training for women and girls with disability.
The aims and objectives of the workshop were to empower young girls and women to understand their roles when making decisions for themselves at home, in the community, at places of work, and to understand the key responsibilities for PWD’s participation.
Speaking to a local newspaper yesterday, the Assistant Coordinator for Women and Girls with Disability, affiliated under the PWDSI project, Ms Ellen Kelly said the training was very important because most girls and women living with disability lacked proper understanding of gender equality and human rights in respect of the provisions and rights outlined in the CPRD.
“The training was intended to enable them to understand their equal rights in relation to able bodied persons. “A lot of them have faced discrimination back at their homes and in their communities, thus the training was given to help them understand that they have all the rights an able person has, when it comes to roles shared in their family homes and work places,” Ms Kelly said.
She added a person living with disability can do anything, therefore give them equal rights and they will do anything themselves in their own unique way.
A teacher from the Red Cross Specialist Disability Centre, Emma Hambalu, who participated in the workshop and herself living with special needs said she learned (at the workshop) that women and men had equal rights to do the same work.
However, Ms Hambalu said a lot of people with disability have no jobs or lacked proper education.
She encouraged SI’s leaders to look into ways to include people with disability and for them to be able to have equal rights in schools and work places.
“For example, create a policy that will include us with disability in job opportunities or in the education system, because nothing can stop us from doing things able persons can do,” Ms Hambalu said.
Source. Solomon Star newspaper.
I fully agree the workshop was valuable and so disappointing that not more kind of similar educational type workshops have occurred based on the basic rights of persons with disabilities in terms of the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
I thank DFAT and Ms Kelly for arranging the workshop last week.
The UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has not yet been ratified by the Solomon Islands government.
In the past I have suggested the SIG could ratify the CPRD, as many other countries have already, by not adopting all the Articles outlined in the Convention, merely those that gave the majority of rights to disabled persons while continuing to abide with the provisions of alternative local legislation. I believe Australia ratified the Convention in a similar manner.
I do not believe the Solomon Islands government is in any way adverse to the rights of those with disabilities but it would be my wish that working in close partnership with diplomatic partners, industry, the SICCI and commerce generally, including the banking sector, more job opportunities and educational opportunities will be specially created for persons with disabilities to ease the burdens they face daily, and have for some considerable time.
Discrimination in the home, which many women and girls with disabilities, are known to endure, could, and I believe should, be tackled by the leaders of the Christian faith churches speaking out against such dated happenings.
DFAT has taken a positive lead in holding the recent workshop and I very much wish more such educational lessons will be given to support and further encourage the “brave” women and girls that have endured so much while suffering discrimination on top of unemployment and educational encouragement.