AFRICAN UNION OF THE BLIND (AFUB)
UNION AFRICAINE DES AVEUGLES (UAFA)
For immediate release
Monday, March 8, 2010 –Nairobi, Kenya
The African Union of the Blind (AFUB) joins all the visually impaired women in Africa in celebrating the 2010 International Women’s Day.While we joyfully take pride in the strides that many visually impaired women across the continent have made -be it academic achievement, participation in the political and public life of their countries, professional growth, and successful private life, we believe that the road to the empowerment of visually impaired women in our continent is yet to be travelled. Illiteracy is rampant Africa wide. With virtually no safety nets, a significant rate of visually impaired women, single mothers for the greater part, find themselves entrapped in the vicious circle of poverty, street-begging, partner violence and physical and emotional abuse, and the hideous scourge of prostitution. And the list goes on…
8 March 2010 should be and is a day for renewed commitment to the struggle for full participation of visually impaired women in Africa. However tremendous the challenge is, however disheartening the reality on the ground is, on the streets of most African capitals, in the villages of almost all countries of Africa, prospects for winning the battle are not all dim. Quite a few opportunities call on us, urge us to think and act strategically: A changing international context that recognizes the need for a rights-based approach to disability and development, a Convention that recognizes the triple bind (of poverty, gender, and disability often compounded with race, ethnicity, and class) that women with disabilities are faced with (Article 6), and a growing number of African countries ratifying the Convention and committing themselves to the domestication of its provisions. In close collaboration with AFUB Women’s Committee, AFUB intends to bring to the forefront of the “Africa Women’s Decade” issues of relevance to visually impaired women. The Decade (2010-2020) is scheduled to be launched officially in October 2010, and the voice of African Women with Disabilities will certainly be represented.
Program Coordinator -Gender and Youth Development