State Department of Special Programmes PS Josepheta Mukobe has called for the implementation of legislations touching on the rights of disabled persons, especially women.
Mukobe spoke on Thursday at Wundanyi County Hall when she launched a programme targeting people living with disability in Taita Taveta county.
The PS said that in Kenya and Africa as a whole, the rights of people living with disability have been taken for granted by governments, NGOs, religious groups and society, which has led to many of them giving up in life.
She said there are sufficient legislations, which, when implemented, will empower and protect the disabled from discrimination and abuse.
"The written laws serve no purpose unless the leaders and the society puts the various legislations into practice. Our National Assembly should look at the Bill of Rights and Disability Act 2003 to ensure that those living with disability are incorporated in the society and their rights respected,” Mukobe said.
The PS called for more representation of women and people living with disability in various leadership capacities to empower them in life.
She warned on discriminating against people with disability.
"Discrimination starts at the family level before it goes out to the public. Society needs to change their attitudes towards these groups of people," she said.
United Disabled Persons of Kenya chief officer Anderson Gitonga and Light for the World representative Sander Schot called for empowerment and inclusion of women and people living with disability in decision-making process so they can feel a sense of belonging.
Taita Taveta Deputy Governor Majala Mlaghui said the Constitution has recognised people living with disability by giving them an opportunity to participate in development at the national and county levels.
She said the county government has taken measures to ensure the rights of people living with disability are protected.
Mlaghui urged the public to champion the rights of people living with disability, especially women who have fallen victim to rapists.