Commonwealth Parliamentarians discuss inclusion and accessibility for persons with disabilities at CPwD Africa Regional Conference in Tanzania
The 2nd Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) Africa Regional Conference has been held from 14 to 18 November 2022 in Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania.
The Regional Conference was hosted by the CPA Tanzania Branch and welcomed over twenty Parliamentarians and delegates from across the CPA Africa Region, including many Parliamentarians with disabilities, to discuss the theme of ‘Parliamentarians and Persons with Disabilities as champions of inclusion and accessibility to the public and private sectors’.
The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of Tanzania, Hon. Mussa A. Zungu opened the CPwD Regional Conference and called on elected representatives across the political spectrum to mainstream disability concerns.
The new CPwD Chairperson, Hon. Laura Kanushu, MP (Uganda), reaffirmed the network’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility for persons with disabilities and said:
“I thank the Parliament of Tanzania for hosting this CPwD Regional Conference. Members have agreed a number of resolutions to present in their different Parliaments to encourage the increased participation of persons with disabilities.”
The CPwD Chairperson also spoke at the conclusion of the CPwD Regional Conference – view video below or click here.
Delegates at the CPwD Regional Conference discussed a wide range of topics including legal and constitutional amendments towards increased representation for persons with disabilities in Parliaments; economic empowerment and entrepreneurship; the role of Parliaments in facilitating the needs of persons with disabilities; empowering persons with disabilities through ICT; health rights for women with disabilities. Dr Magreth Matonya, Director of Special and Inclusive Education at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology gave a review of education for people with disabilities in Tanzania.
The CPA Secretary-General Stephen Twigg sent a message to the CPwD Regional Conference saying:
“Empowerment lies at the heart of what the CPwD network is all about. Its purpose, first and foremost, is to provide a voice: a voice for persons with disabilities within the CPA, and a voice for persons with disabilities within their respective Parliaments.”
Established in 2017, the Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) is a network within the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and earlier this year at the 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC), the position of CPwD Chairperson was formalised as an Officer of the Association and member of the CPA Executive Committee, giving increased recognition to the network.
The CPwD Regional Champions also represent each of the nine CPA Regions and promote the rights of persons with disabilities (PwDs). The CPwD network has published several toolkits, research and video resources to provide Parliaments with guidance on how to enhance the representation of persons with disabilities within their institutions.
To find out more about the CPwD network and its activities, please click here.
The Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities (CPwD) network, within the wider Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, facilitates activities and programmes to champion and increase the representation of persons with disabilities in Commonwealth Parliaments and works towards the mainstreaming of disability considerations in all CPA activities and programmes. The network supports elected representatives with disabilities in 180 Parliaments and Legislatures across the Commonwealth and ensures that issues of persons with disabilities are brought to the fore in parliamentary debate and legislation.
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