U.S. Embassy and Civil Society Organizations Partner to Make Elections More Accessible
November 18, 2022 – During the visit of U.S. Special Advisor for International Disabilities Rights, Sara Minkara, to Maputo, the U.S. Embassy signed grants with three civil society organizations that will contribute to making participation in Mozambique’s elections more accessible for persons with disabilities.
“Inclusive and accessible elections are key component of a healthy democracy,” said U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique Peter H. Vrooman during the grant signing ceremony. “The U.S. Embassy joins civil society and Mozambique government partners to ensure that all segments of society, including persons with disabilities, can fully exercise their democratic rights.”
Totaling $250,000, these grants aim to ensure that persons with disabilities can participate as voters, candidates, poll workers, and other critical positions in the 2023 municipal and 2024 general elections. The grant to the Forum of Mozambican Disabled Persons Organizations (FAMOD) focuses on identifying existing barriers for persons with disabilities to participate in the democratic process. This will be done through Accessibility Labs in Maputo, Manica, and Nampula Provinces. TV Surdo will produce and disseminate content so that the deaf community throughout Mozambique is better informed about the electoral process. And the Mozambican Disability Observatory (OMD) will partner with elections officials in Cabo Delgado Province to ensure accessibility is a cornerstone in the elections planning process.
This initiative builds on previous U.S. Government support to strengthen the capacity of democratic institutions during elections. Advancing awareness about universal access to the democratic process and building the capacity of civil society and election officials across the country are critical components of strengthening democratic institutions and transparent governance.