UN Women has challenged government to recognise the rights of women with disabilities to participate in electoral processes as the country prepares for the 2021 general election.
The call was made during a dialogue to address challenges faced by people with disabilities in electoral processes.
The dialogue was aired live on NBS TV.
Grace Gulere from the UN Women said full participation of men and women in the electoral process is critical to democratic processes.
“Regardless of status, all women have a right to participate in issues of politics, economics, and development without being undermined.Through our research, we have observed that without the full participation of women, the goals of equality, development, and peace can’t be achieved effectively,”she said.
She noted that UN Women is committed and will continue working with other stakeholders to ensure that women with disabilities are part of this country’s democratic processes.
“The international and national frameworks give women the platform to participate in politics, economic, and public life. We need to give space to the ladies with disabilities because disability is not inability,”she said.
Florence Epodoi from the office of the high commissioner,said the government has enacted laws and policies that protect and promote women and other marginalised groups’ rights.
“The degree to which women and other marginalised groups participate in elections can be key in influencing the decisions and policies of those that organise these elections,”said Epodoi.
She however said Uganda has made great strides in the inclusiveness of women and marginalised groups in its development processes.
Abu Baker Kayondo from EC legal department,said there is an enabling law law safeguarding the rights of disabled women in political participation.
“The legal framework intends to enhance the protection of women and People with sisabilities from discrimination that may affect their ability to exercise their civic right of voting for their leaders at all levels,”Kayondo said.
He said the field staff undergoes training to provide preferential treatment to marginalised groups, including women with disabilities.
“Participation of women with disabilities is based on several legal frameworks such as the constitution, which calls for affirmative action for marginalised groups of people,”he said.