Overcoming Barriers to Participate in Local Democracy for People with Disabilities: The Case of Zimbabwe

Chazovachii et al. (2022)

This policy brief discusses barriers to the inclusion and participation of people with disabilities in local democracy in rural Zimbabwe and provides recommendations for enhanced participation. The analysis is part of a broader mixed research study on the inclusion and participation of vulnerable groups in Zimbabwe’s local democracy. Results of the study show how people with disabilities face multiple barriers to participate in local democracy. These include widespread poverty, stigmatisation, limited social support, limited knowledge of human rights and duties, among others. To ensure the inclusion and participation of people with disabilities, we recommend amending the Constitution and aligning laws to create a quota for people with disabilities in local authorities. There also needs to be strengthening for the capacity of people with disabilities and local government institutions and structures by establishing and revamping disability desks within local authorities. Continuous and regular awareness programmes on the human rights of people with disabilities in general, as well as their right to participate in local democracy is also encouraged.