Zekia Musa Ahmed, shares insight into her role as the WISH-HI Project Inclusion Assistant in South Sudan.
As a visually impaired lady, it has not been easy for me to access services due to stigma and discrimination from health providers in South Sudan. That’s why I joined Humanity & Inclusion’s staff in October 2020 to advocate on the rights of persons with disabilities, especially women and girls who are facing challenges in our community.
Sexual and reproductive health is a human right, but not everyone has equitable access to appropriate care. The Women Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) project is working to change that in 16 countries, including South Sudan.
Women and girls with disabilities disproportionately experience gender-based violence and sexual abuse. On top of that, many health professionals believe women with disabilities are not sexually active. Health facilities also lack sign language interpreters or accessible information. We need access to sexual and reproductive health care, including family planning.
For me, it means a lot to teach my fellow people with disabilities about sexual and reproductive health and help them access it.
I’m proud to be part of Humanity & Inclusion's contributions to the rights of persons with disabilities. We continue to work collectively with other organizations to urge the South Sudanese government to sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to remove barriers to services and ensure disability inclusion.
The Women Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) Project is funded by the UK government to expand access to sexual and reproductive health and rights. The 5-year project is implemented by a consortium comprised of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, MSI Reproductive Choices, the International Rescue Committee, Development Media International, Options, and Humanity & Inclusion.