Madam Veronica Denyo Kofiedu, President of the Women with Disability Development and Advocacy Organisation (WODAO), says strengthening the capacity of women, especially those with disabilities, can solve the many inequalities in society.
She disclosed this during a one-day Self-Advocacy workshop for 20 women with disability in the Ho Municipality organised by WODAO to empower them to participate in decision-making at the community level and to access social services with less difficulty.
She said women and girls with disabilities, including women with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities, continued to face intersecting barriers to their rights and participation in our society, which gave credence to the training to address the inequality.
“And the overall objective of our project is to help address the entrenched socio-cultural stigma and discrimination,” she added.
Madam Kofiedu added, “We envisage that the capacity support will help reduce the vulnerability of the women, and project their positive image as equal contributors to their community’s development.”
She said the project would enable the beneficiaries to be self-assertive and start self-advocating for themselves and fully participate in local decision-making processes knowing their rights and privileges.
She acknowledged the financial support received from the UK government for the project as well as the Options’ led Consortium for the grant and technical support for the project, through the Ghana Somubi Dwumadie.
Madam Kofiedu said the project aimed to empower 40 women with disabilities from the Ho Municipality and Ho West District.
Madam Precious Charlotte Adade, Vice President of WODAO, who took participants through negotiation and engagement skills, said negotiation was a common occurrence in both personal and professional settings and an effective way to resolve conflicts and reach mutually beneficial outcomes.
She urged participants to be assertive and stand their ground but avoid being confrontational or aggressive, practice empathy, use positive body language and communicate effectively.
She enumerated the advantages of negotiation as promoting mutual understanding and respect between parties, which could lead to mutually beneficial outcomes, as both parties could find a solution that meets their needs and allows for flexibility and the ability to explore different options.
Madam Adade said the loss of trust and risks of failure as disadvantages to negotiation and urged participants to be guided by the principles.
Some beneficiaries, who spoke to GNA were grateful to WODAO and its partners for championing their rights and well-being.
Madam Clementina Borley, a beneficiary, said the training had offered them the grounds to be vocal and fight for their rights in the community space.
Topics such as self-Advocacy Techniques, Negotiation and engagement with authorities, skills as well as awareness of COVID-19 Vaccination and personal hygiene were taught.
WODAO, established in 2017 is a women-led organisation, which works to promote independent living and social inclusion of marginalised women and children with disabilities including women with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities in the Volta and Oti Regions.