Twenty women with disabilities have undergone self-advocacy skills set training aimed at shoring up their self-esteem and placing them on a pedestal to contribute positively to communal decision-making and development in their catchment area.
The assertiveness workshop organised by Women with Disability Development & Advocacy Organisation (WODAO), was funded by the UKaid through the Ghana Somubi Dwumadie (Ghana Participation Programme) for the 20 women at Dzolokpuita, in the Ho West District of the Volta region.
It was to empower them to self-advocate for themselves, place them closer to accessing social interventions and participate fully in their community engagements.
Madam Veronica Denyo Kofiedu, President, of WODAO, in an interview, said her outfit seeks to empower women and children with disabilities against societal abuses and discrimination that relegated them to the background.
She noted that 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 this imbalance.
“We seek to empower the women to be assertive and participate in decision making at the community level and with the capacity to access social services with less difficulty,” and clothed with knowing their rights and privileges.
Madam Kofiedu disclosed that the project is to empower a total of 40 women with disabilities from the Ho Municipality and Ho West District.
Madam Precious Charlotte Adade, Vice President of WODAO, said negotiation and engagement skills allow for the resolution of conflicts and differences in a constructive manner with the potential to strengthen relationships and improve communication between parties.
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.
Madam Adade said miscommunication or misunderstanding could occur during the negotiation process, which could lead to conflicts and delays adding disproportionate imbalances in the power play or resource availability could affect the process.
Madam Awoenam Adibi on behalf of the participants expressed her appreciation to WODAO and the donors for organising this confidence-building training, which will go a long way to change their lives for the best.
She encouraged the leaders of WODAO to bring more of such training programmes to them.
Participants were taken through self-advocacy techniques and negotiation skills in addition to COVID-19 Vaccination education.
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.