The Ghana Federation of the Disabled has urged government to pursue programmes and policies that would meet the specific needs of the vulnerable, particularly persons with disabilities.
The Federation was of the view that its members were largely being marginalised in all aspects of social and economic lives, and were faced with widespread discrimination and injustices.
Mr Yaw Ofori-Debrah, President of the Federation made the call over the weekend during a ‘Southern sector stakeholder consultative session’ on affirmative action for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities (PWD) under preparation by the government.
He stressed the need for government to engage a lot more with members of the Federation, to be able to understand their concerns, so as to be properly guided in developing an effective policy for total inclusiveness.
Mr Ofori-Debrah expressed worry about persons with disabilities because they have been relegated to the backgound for quite a long time, and called on relevant bodies to add their voices to the call on government to take decisive actions on the concerns of PWDs.
He said members’ political rights were consistently being violated with impunity.
Mr Frederick Ofou, Programmes Manager of the Federation, told the Ghana News Agency that government needed to move beyond the welfare system, and act on the political rights of PWDs.
He observed that empowering the PWDs was the surest way their concerns could be well articulated at the national and local levels, to ensure the formulation of policies geared towards improving their standards of living.
He suggested to government to consider appointing 40 PWDs nation-wide to participate in the deliberations at the local assembly level
Persons with disability who spoke with the Ghana News Agency observed that due to low or no representation at the local level governance, the common fund allocated to them was either being misapplied or mismanaged.
“Sometimes we don’t know how much has been disbursed to us at the district level, and how it is even being used,” Ms Christiana Sarfo, a PWD said.