The Civil Society for Constitution and Electoral Management in Zambia (CCMG) has issued a call to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to address accessibility challenges faced by persons with disabilities during the Continuous Registration of Voters (CRV) process.
In their monitoring findings for October 2023, CCMG commended the ECZ for adhering to voter registration procedures but highlighted the persistent issue of registration centers being inaccessible for individuals with disabilities.
During the observation of Phase II of the CRV across 20 District Registration Centers, CCMG noted challenges related to physical accessibility for persons with disabilities.
Despite positive observations regarding the preparedness of registration centers and the efficiency of ECZ officials, 53% of the observed centers had steps or stairs, rendering them inaccessible for individuals using wheelchairs.
In line with a High Court judgment (Sela Brotherton vs ECZ 2011/HP/0818), CCMG called on the ECZ to take immediate measures to erect temporal ramps at all centers, ensuring inclusivity and accessibility for persons with disabilities.
The organization also urged the ECZ to provide registration data on persons with disabilities, including gender, age, and disability-type classifications, to facilitate effective planning and implementation of measures for disability inclusion in the electoral process.
CCMG acknowledged the positive step taken by the ECZ in recording disability types during the registration process, emphasizing the importance of raising awareness on civic participation targeted at persons with disabilities.
The organization further noted that while women constituted 48% of registrants in October, a slight increase from the previous month, there remains a cumulative gender gap across all age groups.
CCMG encouraged women, youth, and persons with disabilities to utilize the CRV opportunity to register to vote and called on the ECZ and stakeholders to intensify awareness campaigns.
CCMG expressed appreciation for the ECZ’s adherence to registration procedures and the periodic release of disaggregated data.
The organization emphasized the need for continuous efforts to enhance accessibility, inclusivity, and awareness throughout the voter registration process.