Workshop talks ways to promote participation of disabled persons in politics

April 16, 2021 - 15:11

HÀ NỘI — A workshop aiming on the participation of people with disabilities in politics was held in Hà Nội on Thursday.

Organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Việt Nam and the Centre for Education Promotion and Empowerment of Women (CEPEW), the event aimed to enhance the right to political engagement of people with disabilities in Việt Nam, which is home to more than 6 million disabled persons.

Speaking at the workshop, Diana Torres, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative in Việt Nam, said there will be a political gap between non-disabled and disabled people unless the community works to promote equality and empower people with disabilities on political platforms.

Without their voices in agencies under the National Assembly and People’s Councils, people with disabilities will find it difficult to integrate into society, she added.

Lê Ngọc Hoàn, a member of the Blind Association of northern Lạng Sơn Province, who is a self-nominated candidate for the election of deputies to the 15th National Assembly, said people with disabilities need representative voices in the law-making body so their aspirations and needs will be heard.

According to a quick assessment of the group’s readiness for political involvement as candidates in the elections of deputies to the National Assembly and all-level People’s Councils, 92 per cent of people surveyed hoped to have disabled deputies and 63 per cent said they are ready for self-nomination for elections in the next five years.

The assessment, conducted by the UNDP Vietnam and the Norwegian Embassy in Việt Nam, was released as part of the workshop.

It showed three challenges facing the group in elections – feeling unconfident in the possibility of success, lacking knowledge on self-nomination and campaigning, and distrusting that the community will vote for people with disabilities.

Jan Wilhelm Grythe, Chargé d'affaires at the Norwegian Embassy, said the Norwegian government is willing to share information on the political participation process of Tove Linnea Brandvik, a physically disabled Norwegian who served as a deputy to the parliament for two terms from 2005 to 2013.

Norway is also willing to organise conversations to inspire Vietnamese people with disabilities, said the diplomat. — VNS