KNWD Wants Gov’t To Focus On Employment Of PWDs

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The Kenya Network of Women with Disabilities (KNWD) has called out the government for reneging on constitutional provisions for persons with disabilities.

In a press statement released after a meeting in Nairobi on the 14th of June 2023, to deliberate on the current state of the nation and its presiding impact on persons with disabilities – especially women, KNWD claimed that the contentious Finance Bill 2023 contains clauses which will create more challenges for persons with disabilities.

According to KNWD, the proposed taxes are unfair to women and girls with disabilities who are already facing multiple discrimination.

The leaders singled out taxation of content creators, where according to the bill, content creators are expected to pay a five percent withholding tax on their revenue – an amendment to the Treasury’s earlier proposal of 15 percent.

KNWD says the move will kill the talents of Young women with disability especially those in content creation who they say will be deflated.

The leaders now want the government to stop focusing more on taxation and create employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

While highlighting Article 54 (2) of the Constitution of Kenya which directs the State to ensure the progressive implementation of equal representation of persons with disabilities; that at least five percent of the members of the public in elective and appointive bodies are persons with disabilities, KNWD tasked the government to urgently look into the employability of persons with disabilities in counties and national government.

“Inclusion mainstreaming must be seen in action and not just rhetoric. Persons with disabilities and more specifically, women with disabilities, must be given opportunities to compete for top jobs,” KNWD noted in the statement.

KNWD observed that most employers who encourage persons with disabilities to apply for opportunities in their companies end up insisting that the person be physically fit among other discriminatory provisions which negatively have persons with disabilities’ competencies being questioned.

The KNWD leadership faulted the government for ignoring Article 54 which its implementation has been wanting compared to Article 53 which is about Children and Article 55, which covers the youth.

“Public spaces like schools and buildings are not conducive and accessible to persons with disabilities. Security and economics for women with disabilities are a challenge in Kenya. Where are our 24 Missing Seats for persons with disabilities? We vehemently demand our Constitutional rights as persons with disabilities ?”

“Twenty-four counties across the country have NOT implemented the political designations for representation of persons with disabilities,”

The leaders expressed fear that for the next 5 years, PWDs’ voices will not be heard nor will they have a seat at the table regarding decision-making and critical policy implementation in the counties.

“Women and girls are at the bottom of the pyramid of development. Each office at county and national levels must have a disability representation,”

They now want the government to uphold its integrity and compel all counties to submit to the rights of persons with disabilities as stipulated in the constitution.

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