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Coronavirus Pandemic

Women with disabilities in Nigeria lament exclusion from COVID-19 response

woman in wheelchair

Women living with disabilities in Nigeria are being excluded from the government interventions, and support programmes during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic said women said at a recent event.

The women said this during a virtual training organised to empower women with disabilities. The training was organised by BONews Service with support from Urgent Action Fund-Africa. The virtual training had in attendance women with disabilities (WWDs) from different states.
Expressing their grievance at the virtual training, Stella Udoka from Ebonyi, said the state governor gave N1 million to Persons living with disabilities (PLWDs), across the state, an amount which was insufficient to cater for their needs.

“When the money was shared, it amounted to N1,500 per person. This was during lockdown when there was restricted movement, and people couldn’t go to faraway locations to collect the N1,500 because they would have spent more than that on the cost of transportation.
“Because of our disabilities, we couldn’t move independently, and it is another cost to go with an aide because we want to collect N1,500.”

Another WWD from Ekiti State, Helen Ibitoye, said they were excluded from the distribution of relief packages in the state, until they cried out on all avenues, including social media.
She lamented the approach of the state government, emphasising the need to give consideration to the most vulnerable groups in society.

Bilikisu Zango, a resident of Kano State, said there is an urgent need for inclusion of persons with disabilities across different states.

“Everything is centred at the top while those at the grassroots are not included in the real life aspect of what matters most to WWDs.

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