Attitudes on women with disabilities need to change. Pacific Disability Forum believes that all Pacific Governments policies and programs need to be inclusive of women and girls with disabilities to capture the theme for this year, ‘Inspiring Change,’ as we approach International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, 2014.
Setareki Macanawai, the Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Disability Forum said that women with disabilities are breaking barriers in creating changes but society is still yet to catch up by fostering a more positive, inclusive and empowering mindset towards them.
‘All women can take on privileges and the responsibilities and make sure that reality is true for every woman and girl. But still there are places in the Pacific where the reality for them to realise their potential is very limited.’
“Inspiring change has to start at community levels then make its way up to the National Level and Leader must take lead in these changes for all women in the Pacific,” said Mr Macanawai.
Naomi Navoce, the Gender and Youth Officer for Pacific Disability Forum said that stigma and discrimination and the Pacific mindsets towards women with disabilities are still prevalent and their voice is not taken seriously at national levels.
“For what we have, what we can inspire to, personal happiness and professional fulfilment, those are not even possibilities for women and girls with disabilities and that matters.”
“It matters to them of course, but it should also matter to Leaders. Because you are the ones with the power, and with that power comes responsibilities,” said Ms Navoce.
“Pacific Disability Forum urges Leaders to seize that power and create a future that must be possible and inclusive for every women and girls.”
Pacific Disability Forum celebrates International Womens Day with all staff wearing shades of purple to work on Friday March 7th 2014.