By MN Reporter
The announcement of her election was made during a virtual meeting of the Regional Champions of the Commonwealth Parliamentarians with Disabilities.
Hon Ghati who has been widely acknowledged as a strong advocate for people with disabilities both at the National Assembly as well as within the CPA fraternity, becomes the second chairperson since the establishment of the network. She succeeds the first CPwD Chairperson, Hon. Kevin Murphy (Nova Scotia) who was crucial in the establishment of the new CPwD network in 2019.
As CPwD Chairperson, Hon. Dennitah Ghati MP will lead the network’s engagement with the CPA Executive Committee and the CPA Headquarters Secretariat and liaise with Commonwealth Parliaments on behalf of the network.
The CPwD network was established by the CPA to support Parliamentarians with disabilities to be more effective in their roles and to help improve awareness of disability issues amongst all Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff. The CPwD Regional Champions represent each of the CPA’s nine Regions and promote the rights of Commonwealth Parliamentarians with disabilities in their respective Regions and represent disability interests within the CPA.
While congratulating her on her election, CPA Secretary-General, Stephen Twigg, welcomed the announcement of the new CPwD Chairperson and undertook to work closely with her to increase awareness on disability issues across Commonwealth legislatures.
“I look forward to working with the new CPwD Chairperson, Hon. Dennitah Ghati to increase awareness of disability issues in Commonwealth Parliaments and to promote the rights of Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff with disabilities”, he noted.
Hon. Dennitah Ghati was nominated by the Orange Democratic Movement(ODM) Party as a Member of the National Assembly of Kenya in 2017 to represent the special interests of persons with disabilities and she is the representative. Before joining Parliament as the County Woman MP for Migori County, Hon. Ghati who hails from Kuria, was working as a journalist in Kenya for The East African Standard Newspaper and in New York, USA for the American Jewish World Service. She has also worked for the League of Kenyan Women Voters and as a program manager for UNICEF Somalia.
She was elected to the National Assembly as the first female representative for Migori county, representing the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). A year later, on in March 2014, she was involved in a serious car accident in Nairobi that sadly resulted in a spinal injury and use of a wheelchair. As a result, she founded the Dennitah Ghati Disability Foundation, a non-profit foundation that seeks to empower persons with disabilities.
In July 2018, she represented the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association at the Global Disability Summit. (Additional reporting from CPA Communications).