Muhammad Zakaria Suleman
The rights of the disabled, gender violence and food insecurity are three fundamental issues that Muhammad Zakaria Suleman fights for. A law graduate with a strong interest in constitutional education, Muhammad is a SECTION27 campaigner for the rights of people with disabilities who, although protected by the Constitution, are often discriminated against.
“People with disabilities are entitled to the same rights as everyone and are respected, protected and promoted by the state. These rights are expressed clearly in the Constitution, and yet disabled people are often discriminated against in all walks of life.”
Suleman’s fight is to assist people with disabilities to know their rights. Using law, activism and constitutional education, he works hard to raise awareness among learners and various organisations for the disabled, promoting constitutional education through rights-based workshops that discuss the Constitution in plain form.
As an active member of Students for Law and Social Justice, Suleman started his own campaign called Visually Impaired Positivism (VI+), advocating for the right of students with visual disabilities. He has spoken on the topic at various human rights conferences, including a research paper on disability rights in tertiary institutions, presented at the Third International Human Rights Education Conference in Krakow, Poland.
Suleman was nominated one of the top five young Muslim leaders by the Union of Muslim Students Association and has written on issues such as sex education, gender violence, food insecurity and the promotion of constitutional literacy.
Suleman says he is inspired by the reminder that everyone is human, every person has the same aspirations as any other.
“We all cry the same, we have the same hopes, we all want the best for ourselves and our children. Every story or statement has a human voice behind it, and we as leaders and active citizens have a responsibility to be the bearers of that voice.” – Linda Doke