‘Deaf women living as second class citizens’
DEAF women are worst affected by gender and disability discrimination, resulting in them occupying some of the lowest positions in the society.
This was said by Deaf Women director, Ms Agness Chindimba, during a fundraising dinner hosted by Nzeve Deaf Centre at Mutare Hall last Friday night.
Nzeve Deaf Centre is an organisation for deaf and hearing people that reaches out to families and communities across Manicaland, with early identification and intervention for deaf children and support to their families.
The proceeds from the dinner are expected to help in equipping the centre’s new training room which will cater for all those who want to be trained in deaf awareness.
“Research shows that over 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents who do not usually make an effort to learn sign language. It is a very sad situation that the girls and women are encountering.
“They are trampled upon by the hearing who does not understand sign language and if at all they manage to get employment, they have the lowest positions in the company,” said Ms Chindimba.
She said because Nzeve Deaf Centre was fighting against these barriers, it had become a second home for deaf people especially girls to learn, share, interact on issues like gender-based violence, HIV and Aids and other life skills orientation.
“It does not have to be that way because there is always a way where there is a will. Nzeve Deaf Centre is working so hard to reverse the barrier between hearing and deaf people through its early intervention. They empower both parents and children with a hope and future developing sign language,” she said.
The centre provides early childhood education using sign language and visual, participatory activities, social and emotional support to families of children with disabilities and outreach to communities with awareness programmes.
Nzeve Deaf Centre director, Ms Libby Foster, said their aim was to find and train deaf children from young ages so that they catch up with their hearing counterparts in education and communication.
She also thanked the Mutare community for supporting the training room fundraising dinner initiative.