The Network of African Women With Disabilty

WCC is not just an organisation focused on Kenya. We have our eyes cast across the great continent of Africa and even beyond. Nor are we alone and last week we had the great pleasure to host the annunal meeting of the Network of African Women with Disabilites. This conference brought together a group of empowered women to discuss the way forward for African women with disabilities, particularly those in conflict zones.

This meeting was driven largely by the Network, the African Disability Alliance and the Women’s Refugee Commision. It was the consistent message from this meeting that if women with disabilities are twice marginalised, then the problems faced by these women are compounded in areas of Conflict. Not only are there the obvious increased difficulty of access to vital resources but also hidden dangers like the loss of care givers and the strain placed on those already limited resources by an increase in disabilities.

During the conference the sad fact that never has humanity been so engaged in conflict and the flight from persecution. The number of people classifed as refugees has never been higher and this leaves women particularly vulnerable to the ravages of that situation. Those with a disibility are especially vulnerable. They simply cannot run away as quickly  and are more dependent on the society structure around them. This is one of the great struggles of our age.

There are people doing something. The Women’s Refugee Commision is working, collating data and co-ordinating with a host of UN Agencies and organisations on the ground and the hope is that we should  be able to act effectively with this sad situation. Such groups as International Rescue Committee are doing vital work assessing the needs on the ground and providing safe spaces within the camps.

As a charity well aware of the needs of women with disability it comes down to WCC and those in the Network to provide the information, the support and the visibility required to protect, assist and empower those women who find themselves swept up in the tides of conflict. It is a task which will take all our experience at home and which too will make us stronger to empower at home.





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