Disability in the Arab Region: An Overview
On 26 May 2014, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), launched the technical material “Disability in the Arab Region: An Overview,” in partnership with the League of Arab States. The launch took place during a regional seminar on disability policies in Arab countries in light of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which was organized by the Sultanate of Oman and the League of Arab States in Muscat on 26-27 May.
The technical material strives to explore the situation of persons with disabilities not in isolation, but in the context of the societies in which they live. As such, it focuses on presenting data on persons with disabilities, which allows for the examination of the magnitude of existing inequalities and the particular barriers faced by persons with disabilities in Arab societies.
The findings of this technical material highlight a number of key trends in the region:
- Disability prevalence rates among Arab countries ranges from 0.4 per cent to 4.9 percent;
- Substantial progress has taken place at the policy level, as overarching institutional and legal frameworks related to disability have expanded significantly over recent years;
- Persons with disabilities in the Arab region continue to experience more limited access to employment opportunities and quality education than their peers without disabilities;
- Certain groups, such as women with disabilities, appear to face additional barriers to participating in social and economic life, especially in accessing education and employment opportunities.
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