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Activists call for sex education for the blind

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th October 2014 05:05 PM

Activists have asked schools and parents to stop marginalizing blind girls when offering sex education, saying the discrimination has increased the number of underage pregnancies among the visually impaired.

Activists call for sex education for the blind

Activists have asked schools and parents to stop marginalizing blind girls when offering sex education, saying the discrimination has increased the number of underage pregnancies among the visually impaired.

By Jacquiline Emodek

Activists have asked schools and parents to stop marginalizing blind girls when offering sex education, saying the discrimination has increased the number of underage pregnancies among the visually impaired.
           

The Uganda National Association of the Blind (UNAB) executive director, Richard Anguyo said that like any other human being, blind girls too have sexual feelings and should be educated about sex and its consequences to curb early pregnancies.
           

“In Gulu there are many cases of underage pregnancy among visually impaired girls and this is attributed to the fact that parents do not give the girls sex education and the girls are not empowered,”  Anguyo stated.


Speaking at the world white cane day celebrations on Wednesday, Anguyo also expressed displeasure over the continued marginalization of the visually impaired people when it comes to accessing education, with the gap widening in the technology era.
           

 “The world is now moving towards technology advancement and there has been provision of computers in schools by Government however with the schools for the blind, this has not yet happened and yet we can also use computers,” Anguyo said during the celebrations at Kati Kati restaurant in Kampala.


Anguyo added that while the blind in general lag behind, blind women are the real victims because they are not empowered.


World white cane day is celebrated every October 15, to celebrate the achievements of people with visual impairment and a reminder to the public that blind people can perform as well as people with sight.

 

 This year’s theme is “stop avoidable blindness by 2020.”


According to a survey done by UNAB, there are 42 schools attached to the ordinary schools for the visually impaired with only two schools for the blind- Salama school for the blind in Salama and Madera school for the blind in Soroti.


There are over 350,000 blind people in Uganda and two thirds are women however the girls in school are less than 2000 while the boys are 4000.


Frances Candiru the chairperson UNAB notes that the delay in implementation of the Marrakeesh treaty has affected the education of the visually blind.


“The Marrakesh treaty was signed to allow the translation of text books to braille because of the copy right law, however, this has not been implemented, as a result it is difficult for visually impaired students to do research,” says Candiru.


The Marrakesh treaty was signed on  June 28, 2013 and focuses on copy right exceptions that facilitate access to published works by visually impaired people with print disabilities.


A total of 50 countries have signed the Marrakesh treaty however it requires a total of 20 countries to approve the treaty for it to become effective.

 

This entails signatories to adopting national law provisions to facilitate the availability of published works in formats like braille.


The guest of honor, Margret Babadiri, the woman Member of Parliament for Koboko said that in 2000, Government passed a law on intellectual right to ensure that the braille documents can be accessed.


She urged the blind to be united, confident and advocate for change so that their issues can be addressed.


“It is not easy to change the minds of people, however when you form committees and you are confident,  people will understand that what you want is delivery of services.


Babadiri also said that the Government should empower the blind by providing education instruments.

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