According to the United Nations, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has the potential for making significant improvements in the lives of people, including people with disabilities, allowing them to enhance their social, cultural, political, and economic integration in communities.
Hope For Future Generations (HFFG), a national community-based, not-for-profit organization, is advocating for the empowerment of women and girls, including those with disabilities in Ghana, to promote inclusion and gender equality, and to ensure that they are not left out in the digital space.
HFFG believes this will accelerate efforts toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and help address the growing digital gender divide in the context of digital skills and access to technologies by women and girls.
The women-focused organization in a press statement to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD 2023) notes that women and girls in all their diversity face systematic barriers that inhibit their participation in the digital space, so there is the need for IWD 2023 to be used to drive discussions on the challenges women and other marginalized groups face in this space.
Referring to the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Executive Director of HFFG, Mrs. Cecilia Senoo in the press statement, said disability inclusion should not be an afterthought but must be integrated into our thinking, interventions, and policies at all levels.
“Every Ghanaian woman or girl has the right to live a healthy, productive, independent, and dignified life. As a nation, we must look at how we can empower and assist them to take advantage of digital platforms and assistive technology to participate in conversations, build their careers and advance the progress of their constituents.
For women and girls including those with disabilities, including mental health conditions, virtual platforms can provide valuable means of engagement, knowledge-sharing, and building valuable connections at both the national and international levels so we must not leave them behind,” she said.
The theme for IWD 2023 is: “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.
The United Nations estimates that around 16 percent of the world’s population, or estimated 1.3 billion people, live with disabilities. It is estimated that one in five women live with a disability and therefore experience various types of impairments—including physical, psychosocial, intellectual, and sensory conditions—that may or may not come with functional limitations. The global body notes that “girls and women with disability are generally among the more vulnerable and marginalized of society.”
International Women’s Day is globally marked on March 8th every year to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The theme for IWD 2023 seeks to drive a global conversation on a more gender-responsive approach to innovation and technology in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.
For over two decades, HFFG has been involved in programs for women, children, and young people including persons with disabilities and mental health conditions, through life-changing interventions across Ghana. In 2020, the women-led organization was recognized by the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection (MoGCSP) as one of the leading local NGO committed to addressing HIV and AIDS among young people affected by HIV in Ghana. In 2022, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection again recognized and awarded Hope for Future Generations staff for contributing to the elimination of gender-based violence in Ghana.
Hope For Future Generations