By Makutu Manneh
The Gambia Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GADHOHF) on 13th March 2021 commemorated International Women’s Day.
The observation of the day took place at the association’s primary school in Brikama Jamisa, West Coast Region.
A group of young women and men marched from Brikama market to the school ground with the theme ‘Choose to Challenge’.
Isatou Sanyang, women development officer of GADHOHF, called on the provision of works for people with disability (PWD), saying PWD are left behind in most of the activities of the country.
“Women with disabilities should not be left behind,” she said.
Madam Sanyang urged the government to participate in assisting the PWD as most of the NGOs are doing.
Fallow Sowe, National Coordinator for Network Against Gender Based Violence, said PWD are the most excluded people in their communities.
“What have we done for women with disabilities,” he asked.
Sowe stressed that they should ensure PWD’s voices and views are captured in the country’s policies and programs. He said any nation that wants to develop must ensure that every member of that country is considered in all aspects of development. Mr. Sowe also said one of the reasons why the development pace is slow in The Gambia is due to leaving women behind.
Lamin Fatty, representative of Child Protection Alliance (CPA), said there are more than 100 public schools in the Gambia yet there is no specific public school for PWD.
“The few we have are either sponsored or instituted by international donor organisations,” he said. He said they must be able to reaffirm their voice of accountability in holding the state party to account.
“PDW especially children have been marginalised and discriminated against,” he said.
Mr. Fatty said there are no facilities or infrastructures in the country that cater for persons with disability.
Organisations such as the Gambia Red Cross, The Girl’s Agenda, Child Protection Alliance and Network Against Gender Based Violence graced this moment with the differently able and discuss issues that are affecting them in their societies.