On Monday, March 29, organizations like the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) joined in the observance of Women with Disabilities Day, encouraging more public awareness and understanding of the challenges women with disabilities face every day.
The CHR expressed concerns over the already disturbing plight of women with disabilities becoming even more exasperated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under Proclamation No. 244, issued by the National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), Women with Disabilities Day is observed every year, on the last Monday of March.
The CHR said that persons with disabilities are at risk of greater vulnerability and impoverishment during the pandemic. With lockdowns being enforced in many communities, those who belong to the “no work, no pay” category have to worry, once again, where they will get their income.
It asserted that Filipina persons with disabilities might not even have enough supply of basic food items, medication, and other necessities, such as personal hygiene kits for women.
“Today, we emphasize that in the normal situation, more especially now that the COVID-19 pandemic still continues, people with disabilities are considered as among the most vulnerable and marginalized individuals in society,” the CHR said in its social media post.
Aside from the threat of getting sick, they face various rights violations such as poverty, discrimination in accessing public services, and lack of access to information, it added.
The CHR said it is troubled by the fact that many persons with disabilities cannot access life-saving COVID-19 information. It hopes that the government will implement the Filipino Sign Language law in order for better communication of relevant information to those with hearing disabilities.