Disability World
A bimonthly web-zine of international disability news and views • Issue no. 15 September-October 2002


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Swaziland Federation Organization of Disabled People Develops Women's Program
By Bhekie Jele, President (bhekijele2@hotmail.com)

The Federation Organization of the Disabled People in Swaziland (FODSWA) is an organization run and managed by disabled people themselves. FODSWA is a gender sensitive organization; it therefore promotes gender sensitivity amongst its members.

FODSWA was formed in 1993 by disabled people's organizations. The main purpose of the formation of the Federation was to build effective and efficient leadership amongst its affiliates and to act as a link between government and disabled people's organizations. Some of its main objectives are as listed bellow:
  • To undertake practical projects and ventures of support to disabled people's organizations.
  • To promote all measures of equal opportunities and full participation for disabled person's organizations.
  • To lobby government to pass and implement proper legislation and policies.
  • To promote gender sensitivity amongst affiliates.
The Federation guiding principles are:
  • Accountability to affiliate organizations.
  • To see to it that disability policies are in place and implemented.
  • To see to it that all affiliated organizations are able to draw proper plans of actions and implementation plans.
The organization has drawn up a five-year plan on the development of women with disabilities in Swaziland. The program was born from a research study o the discrimination of people with disabilities in Swaziland conducted by FODSWA in October 2001. It came out as one of the findings of the research that women with disabilities are the most discriminated against and the least privileged in the country. The name of the program to be implemented is called "FODSWA WOMEN'S DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME" (FWDP).

The main objectives of the program are:
  1. To improve disabled women's policy-formulation skills, knowledge and application of legislation and policies in the enforcement of their rights.
  2. To increase the awareness of FODSWA affiliates, participating and benefiting from the FWDP of the causes, management, and prevention of the AIDS/HIV disease.
  3. To empower disabled women to be in a position to Play effective leadership roles at all levels within the Women Wing/ disability movement structures, local levels and other development structures in the country
  4. To empower disabled women to fully Participate in independent living programmes, with access to essential services.
  5. To promote the Involvement of disabled women in mainstream development activities
The organization is therefore currently applying for funding towards the implementation of the plan;

The program will be implemented within a period of three (5) years. The total budget for the three years amounts to E6,918,340.00

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