During a two-day national disability conference for disabled women and youth over the weekend at the Gambia Hospitality Training Institute, under the theme, “Inclusion of Youth and Women with disabilities in the development process,” he stated:
“This is the first time in the history of the Gambia Federation of the Disabled to bring together specific sectors to discuss pertinent issues confronting the lives of the disabled. It is also meant to inculcate in them the attitude of being tax contributors and not tax consumers to nation-building. The objective of this gathering is also to avail disabled women and youth with the opportunity to see how best their issues will be mainstreamed in the society. These include NGO work, community initiative, government programs and projects. We thought it fitting to have such an activity to come with resolutions and actions.GFD has registered key successes in the history of the disabled community and now it is time for us to cherish the remarkable successes we have registered in the development process of themselves, families and the community at large. Some of the successes of the federation are the disability employments service. We were able to integrate over 65 disabled young people in training institutions and some in gainful employment and now we partner with NACCUG to empower disabled women to have a credit scheme loan and our members have proved that disability does not mean inability.
Also speaking at the conference, Isatou Sanyang, the chairperson of the board of directors of the Gambia Federation of the Disabled said great efforts have been made by partners to ensure that disabled women and youth have a fair shot at opportunities.
“This conference is organised to bring together the disabled community to address some of their problems. Great efforts have been made by the government, UN system and civil society for coming up with conferences for youth and women. The government has enacted international and other regional instruments but women with disability have been facing challenges. This is why policy-makers need to listen to these people as they identify the barriers that impair their ability to participate in the development process. Women and girls with disability are denied access to education, vocational training, employment, transportation and housing which make it difficult or impossible for them to achieve economic self-sufficiency. They also receive inadequate rehabilitation service because of limited available resources. They are less likely than none disabled women to get married but more likely to be abandoned with children and face stigma and loneliness.”]]>