16 Days Campaign: Gender based violence and disability

In an interview ahead of the 2012 16 Days Campaign against gender based violence, which begins this Sunday (25 November), Pascal Mulenga, president of the Zambia Union of the Blind, said some blind men are being battered by their wives but the police are taking the cases lightly.

In an interview ahead of the 2012 16 Days Campaign against gender based violence, which begins this Sunday (25 November), Pascal Mulenga, president of the Zambia Union of the Blind, said some blind men are being battered by their wives but the police are taking the cases lightly.

He added that several cases have been reported where both women and men who are disabled have been victims of abuse from partners but due to lack of a voice such cases were being swept under the carpet.

“As we celebrate the 16 days of activism against gender based violence we are appealing to the government through the Minister for Gender and Home Affairs to initiate a deliberate policy to educate the disabled…We have reported cases of able bodied wives whipping their blind husbands, even men in wheelchairs are [being] harassed and pushed around in anger and yet society remains silent,” Mulenga said.

“We need a lot of sensitization materials to be produced in Braille for us who are blind and we want the police to make sure that cases involving disabled people are taken seriously as the law does not distinguish who was more victim than the other when violence occurs between the disabled and the able bodied,” he added.

Commenting on President Michael Sata’s interaction with disabled children at the University Teaching Hospital, which occurred yesterday (November 22) when he made an impromptu visit to the institution to check on the water situation, Mulenga described the President as “having a passion” to support people with disabilities.

“He has passion for us and has brought us closer to government making decisions by even making one of us a director at the Food Reserve Agency. It was only during the era of Dr Kenneth Kaunda when a head of state interacted with disabled children,” Mulenga added.

 

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