Creating a Policy Platform to Advocate for Rights of Kenyan Women with Disabilities
Women with disabilities often face barriers such as multiple forms of discrimination and lack access to decision-making processes as a result of their intersectional identities. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and Women Challenged to Challenge (WCC), a disabled people’s organization (DPO) run by women in Kenya, are implementing the “Power to Persuade: Empowering Women with Disabilities to Influence Public Policy” initiative, with support from Global Affairs Canada, to amplify the voices of Kenyan women with disabilities to participate in political life.
On July 31, 40 women disability rights advocates from across the country gathered in Nairobi to create a platform on policy priorities. The document, an advocacy tool to enhance access of women with disabilities to policy development, outlines guiding legal frameworks and actions to be taken by civil society and government stakeholders. Participants identified six priority areas in which rights of women with disabilities must be recognized: political participation, access to information, equality and nondiscrimination, economic empowerment, access to built environment and transport, and social protection.
IFES and WCC reconvened participants of Power to Persuade on November 16 to present the platform to 15 government officials with disabilities from Parliament, the Senate and county assemblies. Civil society and government participants of the meeting collaborated to create strategies to implement existing laws and policies that support the rights of women with disabilities, such as advocating for the adoption of the policy platform by county governments.