GERIS Moves to Bolster Sexual, Reproductive Health Rights of WWDs

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Advancing Women and Girls with Disabilities | Agency for International Development

Global Exchange on Religion in Society (GERIS), an European Union-funded project, has expressed commitment to embark on aggressive awareness campaign on emerging issues around Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights of Women with Disabilities (WWDs).

The Founder of Haly Hope Foundation, Miss Apolmida Tsammani, made the pledge at a news conference on Promoting the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Women with Disabilities in Nigeria, on Thursday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the foundation, in collaboration with Media Advocates for Peace, headed by Dr Jide Attah, were implementing the project in the nation’s capital.

Tsammani explained that the foundation would intensify advocacy, education and dialogue engagement within the matrix of selected key opinion leaders.

Other groups are religious leaders, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), law enforcement agencies and the mass media to ensure the protection of the sexual and reproductive rights of women.

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” The objective selected by the Nigeria Geris fellows hovers around the issues of sexual and reproductive health rights for women with disability as primary beneficiaries and then, persons with disability and others of concern at other levels.

” Thus, after review of the various scenarios faced by the target populations, bench marking from experiential observations during the COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown.

” It is viewed as imperative to push the conversation further by engaging in critical mass awareness on emergent issues around Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) of Women with Disabilities (WWDs).

” And other matters through advocacy, education and dialogue engagement within the matrix of selected key opinion leaders, religious leaders, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), law enforcement and the mass media.

” It is recommended that these engagements be at policy, programming, implementation, enforcement and equal access in planning for service delivery by all stakeholders.”

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She stated that if stakeholders were equipped with the appropriate knowledge, inclusive decision making and early warning mechanisms could be designed for effective implementation.

This could be done especially in a pandemic situation like the COVID-19 and other community health occurrences.

According to her, the project assignment was implemented from Aug. to Sept. 2022 in Abuja as one of the components of GERIS Project.

” Since the commencement of the micro project assignment, we have recorded several successes which include advocacy visits to various stakeholders cutting across the media and religious organisations.”

Also, the Head, Media Advocates for Peace, Dr Jide Attah, said during their interface with religious leaders, they have agreed to include issues of sexual and reproductive health rights of women with disabilities in their sermons in mosques, churches and outreaches.

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” Also, especially with our colleagues in the media, we are looking at content development in terms of sharing information that will enlighten and educate the people regarding issues around disability.”

NAN reports that GERIS is an EU-funded, two-year (2020-2022) technical assistance project for networking, societal capacity building and social media engagement.

The project was implemented by a consortium composed of Particip (lead partner) and the Media Diversity Institute.

The goal of the project is to contribute to social inclusion and societal resilience by setting up a global, community-based initiative to facilitate a global conversation on diversity, coexistence and social inclusion.

Through this action, the European Union proposes to connect positive experiences of coexistence among people of different faiths. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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