Volume 3 Issue 2 - January 15, 2005

Self Help Advocacy Group inaugurated

DNIS News Network - New SHA Group promotes inclusion of disabled persons into mainstream society.

A recent National Survey of disability organisations revealed a grim situation for disabled women in India. Women formed only 28.45 per cent of the entire strength of the decision-making bodies, with disabled women comprising a mere 3.71 per cent. Only 25 per cent of the programme beneficiaries were disabled women and the percentage of girls receiving education was only 38.34 per cent. Around the world, women make up just over 51 per cent of the population. However, due to numerous societal standards, they continue to be left out of the decision-making process.

The concept that a woman has rights is well adopted by women of India , however, not by women with disabilities. In a bid to conceptualise rights of women with disabilities, Vidya Sagar has started a Self Advocacy group of Disabled Women called Thejas.

At present, the group consists of five disabled women as its members. The main focus of the group is to make disabled women economically independent, through providing education and employment.

To enforce development of women at grassroot level, the Group examines and analyses reasons of participation or absence of disabled women in mainstream society. This helps the group in identifying the issues concerning education and employment of disabled women and work towards advocating for their rights in these areas.

Another goal of the group is to formulate a development programme for women in developing countries, which would include leadership, training and empowerment as well as fighting illiteracy. The programme will aim to focus on career-oriented education for disabled women that will also generate employment for them.

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