Peace Over Violence

Our Story

       The African Continental Deaf Women Empowerment (ACDWE) was founded in December 2007. After continued experiences of societal frustrations and discrimination, Deaf women have come together under ACDWE in order to fight against inequality and injustice. The future has much potential for opportunities amongst Deaf women in Africa and it’s important to bring about social change for the upcoming generations.

          In addition to not having the same rights as their male counterparts, a majority of Deaf women in Africa are single.  Not only is this group deaf and female, many have not have access to an education and lack self-esteem.  Where is the leadership that is needed most to guide Deaf women and to establish support and bring about  justice?
          This challenge was proposed by Ayisha Salifu Mamudu, a teacher at Accra School for the Deaf in Ghana. At the school, Mamudu was increasingly faced with Deaf children—especially girls—having their education cut short by family members.  These family members valued a Deaf girl as a helping hand in a household that likely had financial concerns and did not see the value of educating a Deaf girl.
          Cut off from education, the fate of Deaf female children is often dismal.  They have been exploited as street beggers and lured to other countries for work as prostitutes or peddlers.  These experiences  can further socially stigmatize Deaf women as their families will not associate with them if they have brought disgrace on the family honor.
          Deaf Women in Africa need to be able to see education as a key to freedom and independence.  Hearing community members will see Deaf Women as contributing members of society who are worthy of equal rights.  Deaf community members will see them as roles models for future generations of Deaf children.

          Nowadays, Mamudu is fortunate as she experienced positive initiatives and is well educated.  Many of her sisters from her community cannot read and write.  More importantly, the lack of these two basic skills  have far reaching effects in areas where AIDS and other sexual related diseases are becoming common stigmas, invaders and killers.  In these communities, Deaf women are living in ignorance and abject poverty.
          Despite the fact that Ghana has 11 regions (states) along with a sizeable Deaf community nationwide, there is presently no single organization advocating for rights of Deaf women and children.  There is a need for advocacy among Deaf women, which is important for their spirits as well as their basic human rights.