SI Women with Disability Ask Support from Leaders

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Diana talking during the meeting with the UN Resident Coordinator, Sanaka Samarasinha

People who are most likely to be left behind around the world are people with disabilities.

In a meeting with the UN Resident Coordinator, Sanaka Samarasinha, with heads of women’s organisations in Honiara earlier this month, concerns were raised by representatives of people with disability in and around the country.

Women with disability in Solomon Islands are requesting national leaders and organisations to recognise them and give them help and support.

Diana Ma’ahoro is a young women leader with disability working as a volunteer at Young Women Christian Association, YWCA. She wants Government leaders and organisations to recognise women with disability at all levels.

Miss Ma’ahoro said that there was a need for the country’s national leaders to go and visit women and girls with disability in their centres.

“To understand the challenges that we face every day trying to live a normal live like everybody else, it would be much better if we have the leaders themselves to come down to our level and get to understand the challenges we face daily,” Diana said.

“We want UNDP to recognise people with disability. They support Solomon Islands so what about people with disability, especially women and girls,” Miss Ma’ahoro said.

“UNDP has been supporting Solomon Islands, we would also want UNDP to also recognise people with disability especially women and girls,” she said.

Miss Ma’ahoro said that the people with disability have been carrying their own burden all this time.

“We need special education for people with disability and accessibility to high buildings, proper pedestrian crossings, access to training for people with disability in the rural areas and our rights,” she said.

Miss Ma’ahoro said that these requests for help and support go to the government and many organisations but no one responds.

Mr Samarasinha said that he is very keen to work with the government and civil society organisations to make sure that they address the issues of the physical, social, financial and psychological barriers that prevent people with disabilities from “dreaming like all people dream, from aspiring to be what they aspire to be.”

“We must voice our wish so that we too will enjoy our living just as you do.”