Senator Ifill: Disabled women are neglected

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Participants of the Breakfast Club for girls and women with disabilities show off their membership certificates. Standing with them from left are, Business and Professional Women’s Club of Barbados Vice-President, Nicole Alleyne; Barbados Council for the Disabled Admin Project Officer, Rose-Ann Foster-Vaughn; and President of the Barbados Council for the Disabled, Senator Kerryann Ifill.

Senator Kerryann Ifill is describing a newly-launched Breakfast Club for girls and women with disabilities as an initiative that would lay a strong foundation for females throughout the country.

The club, which was presented yesterday on the occasion of International Women’s Day, would operate a three-month training programme focusing on empowering females with disabilities to become advocates for similarly affected people.

“Many of our young women with disabilities are neglected, ignored, set aside, not included in the important activities of life,” said Ifill, president of the Barbados Council for the Disabled.

Adding that these women are mostly untrained, she said, “Some of us do not receive the necessary information that we need to make wise decisions…The Breakfast Club which was put together by the Barbados Council for the Disabled in collaboration with the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Barbados is designed to fortify you for the days ahead.”

The programme comprises a series of workshops, run by trainers who will educate participants on aspects of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“At the end of these three months you will leave here strengthened, renewed, and invigorated for all that life is going to throw your way,” Ifill told the participants gathered at Harambee House, head office of the Council.

The concept for the club was introduced by Barbados Council for the Disabled Administrative Project Officer, Rose-Ann Foster-Vaughn, and is a partnership with the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Barbados.

Foster-Vaughn said the idea came from a training programme for women with disabilities she attended in the US.

“Being a participant in this programme has created a burning passion within me to develop a similar programme for women with disabilities here in Barbados, which encourages them to stand up and speak out – strong, loud and passionately,” she said.

Foster-Vaughn explained, “Six skilled facilitators will base their presentations around areas which will address topics reflecting a woman’s personal image, capacity building and leadership skills”.

The participants will be taught empowerment, self-advocacy, the importance of imagery, etiquette and the usefulness of physical activity.”

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