In this 2015 video, which was produced by Inclusion International with support from the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) as part of the My Voice Matters! campaign, interviewee and former Inclusion International intern Dianah Msipa from Zimbabwe talks about her work to support and increase political participation by persons with intellectual disabilities.
Ms. Mspia: My name is Dianah Mspia. I’m from Zimbabwe. I was an intern with Inclusion International in 2014 for six months, and during my time as an intern, I worked on the accessing the ballot box project, so I was basically involved in carrying out the research and writing on the right to political and civic participation for people with intellectual disabilities. So I wrote, I was involved in researching for and writing a concept note on what that right to political participation means specially dispelling the myth that it was just about the right to vote and making it clear that it is also about other rights, such as the right to hold public office, and the right to also be involved in civic groups. As part of the same project, I also researched and wrote about three briefing notes on the level of compliance with Article 29 of the CRPD for three countries, which were Lebanon, Zanzibar, and Kenya, and it was quite interesting to note that in most of these countries, people with intellectual disabilities were actually denied the right to civic and political participation, which made the project, I think, quite useful and quite worthwhile because it raised awareness about the importance of the right to civic and political participation for persons with intellectual disabilities. In particular, I think it’s important because it helps them to be more included in society, to help them to find their voice, to have a say in how thing around, how politics around, how policies are made. I think that this is important in correct the exclusion to which people with intellectual disabilities have traditionally been subjected.
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