Docstoc

DISABLED WOMEN IN DEVELOPMENT

Document Sample
DISABLED WOMEN IN DEVELOPMENT Powered By Docstoc
					    DISABLED WOMEN IN DEVELOPMENT


               (DIWODE)




BUILDING PARTNERSHIP WITH FINANCIAL AND


         LENDING INSTITUTIONS




               MARCH 2006
INTRODUCTION

The Federation of Disability Organizations in Malawi (FEDOMA)from
June 2005 organized Capacity Building Sessions for it’s seven affiliates.
The sessions had various components for example –
   Organizational Structures
   Organizational Management
   Communication
   Project planning and designing
   Proposal writing.

At the end, we were asked to put in practice the proposal writing session
by developing proposals that FEDOMA could fund. The sealing was
MK100, 000.00. So DIWODE proposed to organize a workshop on
Building Partnership with the Financial /Lending Institutions in Blantyre
to lobby for mechanisms in their systems that can assist women with
disabilities for accessing resources from these institutions. This
workshop was to beef up a similar workshop we had in Lilongwe in
August 2005.

BACKGROUND

In August 2005 DIWODE with sponsorship from SAFOD in conjunction
with FEDOMA organized a Building Partnership workshop with Financial
/Lending Institutions in Lilongwe to lobby for disability friendly
mechanisms for accessing resources to women with disabilities.

Knowing that the Lilongwe Institutions are branches, DIWODE felt it
wise to organize a similar workshop in Blantyre where these institutions
Headquarters are based. This time we were targeting the top decision
making positions. The objective of the workshop was to promote
participation of women with disabilities in socio-economic processes at
all levels.

The workshop was held at Alexander Hotel in Limbe on 2nd March, 2006.
We invited ten (10) Financial/Lending Institutions, ten (10) women with
disabilities, seven (7) representatives from electronic and print media
houses, DIWODE Trustee as a Guest of Honour, two support staff, one
attendant, two (2) guides, one interpreter and an in house
facilitator/coordinator of the workshop. It was a half day workshop to
give chance to the participants to go back I time to attend to their day to
day operations. Our main target groups were the Financial /Lending
Institutions.

WORKSHOP METHODOLOGY AND PROCEEDINGS

The workshop entailed presentations and discussions in plenary and in
groups.
The workshop proceeding started with a word of grace by the chairperson
of DIWODE, also one of the organizers of the workshop.

The Coordinator /Facilitator of the workshop the Executive Director of
DIWODE in brief presented the background of DIWODE and also
introduced the workshop methodology, proceedings and objectives, to the
participants to familiarize them with the day.

OPENING REMARKS

In his opening remarks, one of the DIWODE Trustees firstly pronounced
his concern with low turn out of the media. He said that he did not know
weather it was due to poor communication or else negative attitude
toward disability functions. Secondly he welcomed all the participants
and thanked them for their attendance which showed respect to the
disability movement which is a marginalized grouping. He sensitized and
brought awareness to the participants especially the Financial/Lending
Institutions that disability is a cross-cutting issue, a human rights issue
and therefore it is a developmental issue to be mainstreamed at all levels
of developmental interventions.

He also pointed out that other institutions say disability issues are for
MACOHA or FEDOMA; he retaliated this and asked them to address
disability issues in their Institutions programmes and services by putting
in place disability friendly mechanisms for accessing resources to women
with disabilities.

He urged DIWODE to take the forum seriously since it was the only
gathering to raise their sentiments. Lastly but not least he thanked
FEDOMA for sourcing the funds to support DIWODE for the workshop to
be held at a such magnificent held Hotel. Then the workshop was
officially opened.

PRESENTATIONS

FEDOMA PROFILE
FEDOMA profile was presented by Mr. Kassim Gama In his presentations
he brought out the following issues:-

FEDOMA background dates back from 1999. It has seven affiliates (see
appendix) He said the affiliates in general are called Disabled Persons
Organizations)

To wind up he talked on disability terminologies and how they can best
be used in a disability friendly format. Some of the words were

Disability

Handicapped

Impairment

Visually Impaired

Speech and hearing impairments e.t.c

FINANCIAL /LENDING INSTITUTIONS BRIEF PRESENTATIONS

             1- MALAWI SERVINGS BANK

      The only banking institution in attendance. Its products are the
      with other banks in Malawi. It is the only bank managing MASAF
      111 COMSIP component and MADERF funds.


             2- SMALL ENTERPRENUR DEVELOPMENT OF MALAWI
                (SEDOM)

      Established in 1982 by Malawi Savings Union and Government of
      Malawi. It has three loan programmes:-
         - Private sector Development fund

         -    Micro Enterprise fund

         -    Fishing Development fund (this is in five districts only)

        They require surety for one to access a loan.
3-   PRIDE MALAWI

     Started in 2000 with one product but now they added two more

     These are :-

              -   Solidarity Groups:
                  5 people grouping in a group of 50 people

              -   Napwepwete: - beneficiaries graduate from the solidarity
                  groups

              -   Individual loans :- only to special cases.

            3- NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS WOMEN (NABW)

        -    Started in 1990. It is a membership organization. It’s
             services are benefited by paid up members only.

        The services are:-

        -    Training (e.g business management
        -    Credits
        -    Information dissemination in marketing


     These services are provided in groups


        -    The group assets loan comprises of the following

             Maize mills
             Poultry
             Bakery
             Piggery
 NABW is operating in ten districts Blantyre, Lilongwe inclusive.

MALAWI SOCIAL ACTION FUND (MASAF)

Assisting communities through grants
There are two components that can assist women with disabilities

   -Social support Programme SSP
   - Community savings
      Investment Project (COMSIP)
    ( COMSIP encourages the community in savings and also within the
project there are               trainings in Business skills and Linking
groups to Financial/Lending institutions)


PRESENTATION    ON   CHALLENGES   FACING   WOMEN                     WITH
DISABILITIES WHEN ACCESSING LOANS BY S KASASI

         -   The situation of poverty and disability was recognized in the
             MPRSP –                 under Pillar 3 –“Improving the quality
             of Life of the most vulnerable but nothing much was done to
             acceptable standards.
         -   Women with disabilities experience greater discrimination
             and high levels of exclusion from the mainstream society.
         -   As women are fighting for the equalization of opportunities
             with men, women with disabilities struggle to be recognized
             first as human beings and secondly as female so they are
             always left behind meaningful development.
         -   Economic barriers disadvantages women with disabilities
             even more in terms of access to loans, business ventures
             and employment avenues because of the negative attitude s
             in the society towards persons with disabilities in general
             and double disadvantage for women with disabilities
             resulting in the majority living in abject poverty with no
             access to resources and income.
         -   Lack of disability friendly communication and information
             dissemination formats in forms of Braille for the visually
             impaired, Large prints for the Low vision, signs and symbols
             for the hearing and speech impaired and accessible
             infrastructures (building roads etc) for        the   physically
             disabled using wheelchairs and clutches.




There is high illiteracy level amongst women with disabilities hence their
failure to participate fully in income generating activities and small scale
industries.

In recommendation to address the economic challenges faced by women
with disabilities, there is a need for interventions as follows:-

         -   Promotion of gender responsive and disability friendly
             policies to assist remove inequalities that exist in the society.
         -   Information should be communicated and disseminated in
             disability friendly formats eg

                 o Written information in Braille for the visually
                   impaired.
                 o Large prints 16 font size for persons with low vision
                   and also well lit rooms
                 o Signs and symbols for the hearing and speech
                   impaired.
                 o Accessible building, roads, counters etc for persons
                   with physical disabilities using wheelchairs and
                   crutches.
                 o Women with disabilities should be empowered
                   through provision of education and training to
                   enhance their opportunities to participate in
                   meaningful development.
                 o Women with disabilities to network with existing
                   women groups to win trust and inclusion.
                 o Women with disabilities to make use of every
                   opportunity to improve their knowledge and skills to
                   make the policies of empowering women a reality.


EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES
-Negative attitude of the society towards persons with disabilities and
issues pertaining to disability.
- Disability unfriendly policies in most institutions (e.g. grace period and
surety.)
- Lack of disability friendly access to information formats.
- Inaccessible building and roads making mobility different for the
physically disabled.
- Lack of appropriate knowledge and skills to over come their problems
and assist them to surpass the board and specific economic barriers they
experience in their day to day lives.

GROUP RECOMMENDATIONS

   1- Changing and amendments of programmes and services in
      institution are a policy issue. Therefore, DIWODE should continue
      to lobby the institutions door to door .
   2- As prime movers, women with disabilities should be on the
      forefront inquiring information and giving sample accessible
      information formats.
   3- As a strategy for policy change process women with disabilities
      should be joining existing women groups to show their
      competencies and win trust.
   4- To bring awareness to the society on the rights needs and
      potentials of women with disabilities.


   CONCLUSION

   We urge the financial and lending institutions to be flexible in their
   condition for loan applicants, for example by putting in place
   mechanisms in their systems that can assist women with disabilities
   for accessing resources. People with disabilities and women in
   particular are poorest of the poor; women need training to acquire
   business skills and give the chance to obtain capital. They can do very
   well. The society should not look at the disability but rather focus at
   the capability.

   Miss Elizabeth Machinjiri closed the workshop with a word of prayer.

				
DOCUMENT INFO