Disability, Political Citizenship and the Challenge of Inclusion in National Politics: Analysis of Five Cases from Ghana

Keywords: Ghana, Disability, Disability Stereotypes, Political Citizenship, Political Participation


Participation of persons with disability in national politics in Ghana is generally low. This is because of attitudinal barriers, resource constraints and accessibility challenges in the built environment. This study examined the role of political leadership in the perpetuation of barriers to the political citizenship of persons with disability and their inclusion in national politics in Ghana. Five cases involving the public commentary of prominent political figures about disability and persons with disability were analysed. The comments perpetuate the traditional beliefs that marginalise persons with disability. Some of the comments reinforce stereotypes about disability and ascribe various forms of incompetence to persons with disability. Some people also use words and metaphors that may be construed as offensive to persons with disability. Given that the laws of Ghana affirm the rights of persons with disability to participate in national politics, the state has to ensure that these rights are not curtailed.