Woman and girls globally continue to suffer many human right violations such as gender-based violence (GBV), statutory rape, among other forms of abuse. Their marginalization and exclusion has limited their access to crucial information; justice; and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services and GBV services. Zimbabwe’s population of persons with disabilities (PWD) is estimated at 900, 000 people, with most of them living in rural areas.
UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, CBM and ZHRC hosted a 3-day capacity building workshop for National Human Rights Institutions on Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV), Harmful Practices (HP), Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) and Disability Rights of women and girls with disabilities from the 18th to the 20th of June 2019 in Harare. The workshop was attended by approximately 65 representatives among them Commissioners and Human Rights Officers from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission(ZHRC), the Zimbabwe Gender Commission, Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPO’s), the Federation of Disabled People in Zimbabwe (FODPEZ), Leonard Cheshire, Deaf Zimbabwe Trust and other stakeholders from the sector.
- Enhancing knowledge on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and key principles for disability inclusion in programmes of and engagement activities of the National Human Rights Institutions.
To ensure inclusion and meaningful and effective participation of PWD in society, Debra Tigere, Country Director for the CBM highlighted the importance of having accurate data and the inclusion of PWDs in programme management, design and implementation processes. Other key issues which were discussed during the workshop included the need for inclusion of PWDs in the development of service delivery systems; accessibility; reasonable accommodation and access to SRHR information and services .
The workshop concluded with the following key actions:
- A position paper on the Disability Bill needs to be developed looking at the domesticitation of the principles in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. This paper will be shared with the Ministry of Public Services Labour and Social Welfare for them to consider incorporating views of the sector before this law is finalised.
- Participants agreed to continue to review SRHR products to ensure they are inclusive and available in accessible formats for women and girls with disability.
- The ZHRC resolved to update its Case Management System to be disability inclusive to ensure disability data is captured and analysed.
" As as the Human Rights Commission, we had not fully mainstreamed disbaility issues in our programmes. Going forward we will work to ensure that our programmes are more inclusive" - Deputy Director, ZHRC, Dr Ellen Sithole.
The capacity building workshop was hosted with the framework of the joint United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) Project “Advancing the Rights of Women and Girls". The United Nations is strengthening its partnership with National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) in advancing the implementation of the CRPD in Zimbabwe.