The issues that women with disabilities face are intersectional. “Women and girls with disabilities experience double discrimination, which places them at higher risk of gender-based violence, sexual abuse, neglect, maltreatment and exploitation,” stated the United Nations.
NOVEL, which stands for Nationwide Organization of Visually Impaired Empowered Ladies, seeks to address that. It’s an organization “by, of and for women and girls with disabilities, particularly those with visual impairment.” Some of their work includes educating and collaborating with the government and other women’s groups to provide full support to women and girls with disabilities and promote their inclusion in all spheres of life, as well as empowering these women with the awareness of their fundamental human rights and encouraging them to speak up.
This year, the organization is holding an essay competition to celebrate White Cane SafetyDay. In case you don’t know what that is, we celebrate that day annually on Aug. 1 to recognize the talent and hard work done by our community of people with visual impairment as well as advocate for their rights. It’s called White Cane Safety Day because the white cane is the device that people with visual impairment use for their mobility and it symbolizes their independence and self-determination.
The contest aims to both “provide a platform for persons with visual impairment” to discuss the challenges they’ve faced as well as to “highlight and recognize the capabilities of persons with visual impairment.”
This year’s theme is “Empowerment and Equal Opportunity: Together We Can Create An Inclusive World For Persons with Visual Impairment,” with eligible contestants being Filipinos who are blind or have low vision and are at least 12 years old. However, registration is already closed. The winners will be announced in August..
If you’re itching to read the essays, don’t worry. The winning entry will also be published here on Preen.ph!
Here at Preen, we want to stress the importance of being an ally to everyone. Your feminism should be intersectional, and you should fight for all of our siblings. We need to lift everyone up.