South Africa: Women, Youth and Persons With Disabilities On International Day of Persons With Disabilities

press release

03 December is recognised as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Cabinet in 2013 resolved that it also be declared the National Day of Persons with Disabilities, preceded by Disability Rights Awareness Month (03 November to 03 December).

We have over the past 4 weeks shared with the nation some of government's commitments and measures that will be taken over the next 5 years to bring about meaningful change to persons with disabilities and their families as equal citizens. The month has seen more than 130 events which focused on the rights of persons with disabilities at community and institutional level. Our airwaves were abuzz with the voices of persons with disabilities showcasing their talents, expressing their frustrations, and sharing their dreams.

As Disability Rights Awareness Month 2019 draws to a close, the Ministry in the Presidency: Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities appeals to all public institutions across all three spheres of government, as well as our partners and role-players to forge new and strengthen existing partnerships that will accelerate meaningful change in the lives of persons with disabilities and their families.

December 03 presents the citizens and residents of Mzansi with an opportunity to reach out, to embrace, to celebrate, to renew our commitment to do more to create a truly #DisabilityInclusiveSA. The country has 15 events planned for the day and we are certain there are many more activities taking place across South Africa, hosted by both government and civil society organisations.

South Africa will be contributing to the worldwide wave of action on International Day of Persons with Disabilities with more than 30 events, hosted by government, the private sector, disability organisations and NGOs, across all nine provinces over the next few days. The calendar can be downloaded from the Department's website.

The disability rights advocacy campaign will continue throughout the year as we approach 2020.

Our appeal to the nation is that we take individual as well as collective responsibility to change our own attitudes towards persons with disabilities, and that we strengthen our participation in transforming our communities, our schools, our campuses, our places of work, places of worship, and social spaces to become truly disability inclusive. In this way we will give meaning to the month's theme: Together Building South Africa Inclusive of Disability Rights.

Let us work together to ensure that our responses to the daily struggle of persons with disabilities find expression in the Khawuleza District Development Model - that we change lives where people live, play, learn and work.

Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane appeals to all sectors of society to act in solidarity with persons with disabilities, to speak up when they witness human rights violations, segregation and marginalisation, and to embrace families with disabled members.

Society is encouraged to continue the conversation online beyond the campaign, by using the hashtag #DisabilityInclusiveSA.

Issued by: Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

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