The Deaf Women Association of Nigeria yesterday said its members were discriminated in the areas of employment, healthcare and education.
Its president, Hellen Beyioku-Alase, spoke in Abuja at the National Deaf Women Summit and the 13th Annual General Conference of the association.
She urged the Federal Government to review the Disability Act to give more recognition to its members.
She called for the strengthening of the provision of sign language interpreters in all activities to make the environment inclusive for the deaf.
“In the past few years, our giant strides in women emancipation have birthed recognition of some deaf women across Nigeria. However, the successes recorded are a far cry relative to the population of our capable women and the less privileged deaf women in Nigeria.
“A deaf woman will mother several generations of hearing citizens. Therefore, it is a disservice to the nation to marginalise the deaf woman and ignore her silent cry over gender-based violence,” Beyioku-Alase said.
She noted that deaf women have had discrimination in the areas of employment, zero/poor access to health care, education, public women-centered policies which can better the lives of less-privileged deaf women hidden everywhere in the nation.
She lamented that the discrimination, gender-based violence and poor access remained among topmost challenges against the deaf women, as members still faced violence and subjugation from men till date.
On her part, the National Vice President, DWAN, Ms. Jenebu Anjebe, urged government to make hospital services free for deaf women, and special provision for them by the Ministry of Women Affairs.
Also, the National Secretary General, DWAN, Mrs. Damilare Olakuleyin, said that the review of the Disability Act would force all agencies of government to do what was in the law and in the national interest.