We’ve received this post from poet and broadcaster Soneni Gwizi about the rights of disabled women:
Zimbabwe is caught up in the transition of writing a new constitution that “will” or should cater for all, particularly now in this inclusive government we are in. I am disturbed with the lack of effort from stakeholders particularly the government. They are not seriously including persons with disabilities at decisions levels.
It is very sad that the visual and hearing impaired ( blind and deaf ) persons are sidelined due to communication barriers, they use a different communication medium due to the nature ot their disability, the braille and sign language which is not used in public meetings. I am aware that there is a lot of talk and suggestions that they must include all persons but let the truth be told, there is very little action taken on that statement.
Let us consider persons with disability with respect, dignity and allow their own voices to heard so that they can also live and be accepted in our communities.
They may not chant slogans and throw teargas at your buildings ( which they are capable of ) but they have a Right Too!
My voice, my right
They say lets unite and write a constitution with one voice
A voice that declares my rights
Unity means agreement, harmony, and union
It must represent the voices, needs interest and the rights of women, men,
and children of all types of back ground.
Is my right and voice being heard?
Are my needs considered?
For my needs and rights are different from yours society!
Do you not know?
I have struggles and challenges beyound mother nature!
Do you not understand that a constitution is one of the highest laws of a Country?
For years and years i have been trying to tell you Zimbawe,
That my rights and your are different,
You have always made me small in your eyes!
You have silenced my voice,
In your agender i appear like a cloud!
Here today and gone tomorrow.
Why do you ignore my voice and my rights?
Why do you undermine my intelligence, my gender, my disability, my right
I am just a disabled woman you voice!
Hey i am not just a woman,
I am intelligent, brilliant citizen of this nation.
My voice has to be heard and chronicled in the laws of this nation.
The journey has been too long my sister, my brother,
Hold my hand and lets walk together,
After all we are fighting and voicing for one thing which is,
FREEDOM, FREEDOM, FREEDOM!
The right of a woman!