Imagine making a statement to the police using sign language – disabled women celebrate own special day
A week after celebrating the international Day of the Women, disabled women in Namibia enjoyed a special day of their own on the Day of the Disabled Woman. Placing the spotlight on the plight and hardships of disabled women, this special day was commemorated by the National Federation of People with Disabilities in Namibia on 14 March.
It was the first ever event in Namibia dedicated solely to local disabled women. Speaking at the celebrations, the federation’s acting Secretary General. Mr Elia Shapwe, told his audience of disabled women “Now is the time for disabled women in Namibia.” The event was attended by a diverse group of women with physical disabilities.
City of Windhoek Councillor, Ms Hileni Uulumbu said “it is important for the women with disabilities to have a woman’s day separate to the official International Day of Women, so that the focus can fall on them and the unique challenges they face.”
The 2018 theme for disabled women, “The Time is Now!” encourages these women to take control of their lives, making a difference to their own circumstances and helping others also to improve their lives. Demonstrating how powerful they can be, Lirongengeni Kakumo sang the National Anthem in sign language.
Deaf women are victimized by criminals because sign language makes reporting all the details very difficult while albinos are regularly called derogatory names. According to Miriam Sam of NADAWO, women with disabilities are commonly mistreated.
The Day of the Disabled Woman was sponsored by the Woermann Brock supermarket group through its WB We Care Trust. The group’s Senior Operational Manager, Ms Friede Kandjii said other organisations that promote the cause of women, and in particular disabled women, are welcome to apply for grants from the trust. “The group aims to assist positively in all areas where we do business,” she said.
Captured at the Day of the Disabled Women celebrations, from the left, Ms Frieda Kandjii, Senior Operational Manager at the Woermann Brock supermarket group, Elizabeth Namwandi, the day’s hostess, and Mr Elia Shapwe, the acting Secretary General of the National Federation of People with Disabilities in Namibia.