Federation of disability presents draft policy to minister
The Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD) has presented a draft employment equity policy to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, asking for fairness in job opportunities in the country.
Among issues spelt out in the document are gaps in job opportunities for persons with disability (PWDs) and recommendations on steps to reduce discrimination against PWDs in the job market, especially in the public sector.
The presentation of the policy is the result of a sustained dialogue the GFD had with the minister on the way forward in dealing with discrimination in the job market against PWDs.
The President of GFD, Mr Yaw Ofori Debrah, presented the draft policy to the minister in Accra.
It is estimated that an average of 70 PWDs graduate from tertiary institutions every year.
In view of that situation, Mr Ofori Debrah called for special attention to be given to qualified PWDs in the job market to make them economically independent.
"We know that youth unemployment is a global problem that almost all countries, especially developing economies, are faced with, but the fact remains that the plight of PWDs is even worse because they have peculiar challenges.
"We are not saying that every opportunity should be given to PWDs but efforts must be made to support them," he said.
Mr Debrah stated that PWDs had been under represented at all levels of government and called for deliberate national policies to reverse the trend.
For instance, he said only 24 PWDs were elected assembly members across metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) in the country.
"In the previous administration, we made a special appeal to the President ,John Mahama, to direct all MMDAs to employ at least one disabled person, but 97 of them responded favourably.
"With the change in government, the PWDs who were government appointees have been taken out so there are very few of them left at the local assemblies.
"There is currently only one district chief executive at Sunyani West who is a disabled person. We have no single Member of Parliament or chief executive of any government institution," he stated.
The employment minister assured the GFD that his outfit would take steps to address its challenges.