By Esther Atani, The Sight News
ABUJA:While it goes without saying that people with disabilities have equal rights to sexual and reproductive desires and hopes, as non-disabled people, society has disregarded their sexuality and reproductive concerns, aspirations and human rights.
However, the media, being the voice of society’s conscience plays a pivotal role as partners in changing widespread perception of persons with disabilities.
The Executive Director, Disability Rights Advocacy Centre (DRAC), Dr Irene Ogbogu-Patrick while making these known, at a breakfast meeting with media practitioners in Abuja, on Wednesday, November 27, called for sustained efforts by the media to bring pressing disability issues to the consciousness of the general public.
She urged the media to take their responsibilities seriously by championing greater advocacy and ensuring the society’s active involvement in the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities.
Expressing concern about the lack of implementation of the Disability Rights Act, she called for greater political will and accountability from the Federal Government, to ensure that policies affecting persons, and women and girls with disabilities take full effect.
Furthermore, she intimated members of the media present, of a proposed media training by DRAC in conjunction with her partners, to equip journalists with the appropriate skills needed to report issues affecting persons with disabilities effectiveness.
Meanwhile, Ms Jessica Odudu, Programme Officer for Premium Times Center For Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), advocated for more quantitative data outlining incidences of discrimination against persons with disability to help journalists in their investigation and reportage
The roundtable which featured discussions between members of the press and DRAC was held to build and strengthen strategic partnerships for greater awareness, driving action towards the total inclusion of persons with disabilities into every sphere of society.