MUTARE – The United Nations has launched a disability project in Zimbabwe that is aimed at strengthening capacity of women and girls with disabilities to shape public discourse.
The United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Project was launched last year and is currently being implemented by various stakeholders in the country.
In an Interview with The African Voice Global on Wednesday in Mutare on the sidelines of a Justice Legal Officers training workshop, the Project Coordinator Memory Zulu- Munyaradzi said the objective of the project is to Influence change in attitudes, beliefs and cultural norms of general public’s perspective towards women and girls with disabilities.
“We want to increase capacity of Justice System and Sexual Reproductive Health services to respond to women with disabilities rights,” said Zulu-Munyaradzi.
She said the project’s activities on disabled people’s access to justice have been successfully integrated.
“These have been integrated into Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs’ annual work plans,” adding that a total number of 60 human rights staff and thematic working group members have been trained on disability rights and sexual reproductive health rights.
“We have also sensitized the Justice sector and capacity building initiatives on women and girls with disabilities rights. The project has raised awareness for general public on the rights of persons with disabilities. Over 3000 people have been reached out,” she said.
The Project Coordinator said the project has learnt that women and girls with disabilities have remained a very vulnerable and commonly “left behind” population group in various development processes.
“Persons with disabilities are a heterogeneous group and need to be engaged accordingly. We have realised that there is a huge gap on data of persons with disabilities and there is need to identify a common data collection system,” Zulu-Munyardzi said.
She called for meaningful participation of persons with disabilities at all levels of planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation an all sectors.