Speaking at the closing ceremony and awards night of the Media Capacity Building Initiative for Reporting on Disability (MC BIRD), the ambassador said the media must tell stories that communicate and help understand public policy issues concerning disability.
She tasked journalists at the event to improve the understanding of challenges facing the disability community.
“As citizens in a democracy, we depend on journalists to help us understand the public policy issues we face. This includes issues like the climate crises, human rights, diversity, economic inclusion and of cause challenges faced by people living with disabilities. I hope that with this program, we have started a conversation to improve understanding of the challenges faced by people with disabilities,” she said.
According to her, the media has a huge responsibility to report the essential truth and allow the public to hear all sides. To do this, journalists must give persons living with disabilities the opportunity to tell their stories.
Representing the government at the event was Deputy Minister for Information, Fatima Abubakar who buttressed the points made by the ambassador.
In addressing issues of stigmatisation, she urged media persons to throw the spotlight on the disability community as they form part of the marginalised groups in the country.
In her speech, she said the government rolled out a policy in 2017 which sought to increase the allocation to the disability community from 2% to 3%.
She ended her statement by assuring the general public that the government is committed to improving social development.
“I believe that if collectively, on our part as government and the media, put our efforts together to make sure we put the spotlight on persons with disability, the conversation will become unavoidable and we will all contribute towards ensuring that there is the spotlight on marginalised groups including persons with disabilities to also ensure that issues that lead to stigmatisation are addressed.
Since 2017, the government of Ghana has increased the allocation to persons living with disabilities under the district assembly common fund from 2% to 3%,” she said.
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