Simplified policy crucial in dealing with disability inequality

By Collings Kalivute:

Authorities in Kasungu district say provision of simplified policies on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and Disability Act of 2019 are key components in addressing disability inequality in the country.

Kasungu District Social Welfare Officer, Harrison Thindwa, and his counterpart, Wisdom Mseteka of Malawi Council for Disability Affairs (MACODA), made the remarks on Friday as Umunthu FM briefed women and girls with disabilities on simplified SRHR policy and Disability Act under its “Quality Menstrual Health for Women and Girls with Disabilities” project funded by Amplify Change.

Thindwa said women and girls with disabilities are facing various degree of gender-based violence besides stigma and discrimination on social issues, but they fail to report due to a lack of knowledge of the existing policies.

“We commend Umunthu FM for this project which is mainly targeting women and girls with disability. We believe with this project issues of GBV among people with disability will decrease as they will be able to report to relevant authorities,” he said.

Ivy Tunkete Mwanyongo, Umunthu FM’s Project Pfficer, expressed satisfaction with the strides the project is making, particularly in ensuring accessibility through Braille, flyers, and videos with sign language for all women and girls with various forms of disability.

“We have simplified the policy and the disability act of 2019. We want everyone to access the documents so that they should know what the act and policy stipulates,” she said.

Chairperson for Kasungu District Disability Forum, Esther Luhana, is optimistic that the project will enhance the mindset change of the citizenry towards people with disabilities.

Umunthu FM is implementing the project in five Traditional Authorities in Kasungu, which are Kaomba, Lukwa, Mwase, Wimbe, and Chilowamatambe.

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