handicapping is one of the essential problems facing the whole
world in general and the third world in specific, where the
number of the handicapped people in the world is 500 million
handicapped according to the United Nations’ studies. In the
third world, 80% of the handicapped people live in the rural
areas, which lack the essential services, and are the main
locality of the population’s problems in the world concerning
poverty, sickness and ignorance. As the advanced world is
distinguished by its development, advancement and welfare at all
levels, and where the living standard of the individual is
respectable, the third world countries are distinguished by the
backwardness and other negatives issues, which accumulated until
they overloaded the local countries of the third world. This is
not limited to the provided services that the handicapped person
needs, or his adaptation, but also to the effects of a
handicapped person on his family and society. In addition to
that, most of the handicapped people live in extremely poor
areas that lack the essential services, which prevent to
discover the handicapped cases in their early stages before
Until the middle of the 20TH
Century, it was used to give this category of people different
kinds of naming like “disabled”, “crippled”, or “people with
deformities”. These are respectable names in comparing with
others that are so far from humanity. This happened when the
point of view towards the handicapped people changed after
starting to say that these categories are not handicapped, but
the society failed to understand or absorb them, or make use of
their capabilities, talents, and capacities, and train them in
order to adapt them in the society and prepare them to benefit
from the development programmes, which will enable them to fit
in the society.
The main reasons are:
1) The hereditary reasons:
The people under this category took
the disability from their parents, who are (with the society)
the main reasons for their disabilities, which could be avoided
by early examination before the marriage or even during the
2) The environmental reasons:
These are the result of the external
effects, which play a role since the pregnancy period until the
death of the person. They include the effects before, during and
after the delivery, in addition to all kind of
Disabilities that happened due the
wars, accidents, and disasters. The conclusion here is that any
person in this world could have the chance to be handicapped.
It is very difficult to figure the
real number of the handicapped people in Yemen due to the lack
of right and proper ways of statistics. The only source of
information is the general census and housing counting, which
don’t cover all kind of disabilities due to several social and
cultural reasons in the Yemeni society, since rarely the Yemeni
families would mention their handicapped members. It is hoped
that the 2004 census would be more close to the reality.
The social services provided to the
handicapped people, especially the women, is a very important
field, since its main intention is to deal with the handicapped
woman as a real human being, who has her own social and
psychological needs, in order to benefit from the offered
rehabilitation. The social support to the handicapped woman is
very crucial since the family in Yemen always look at her as a
disgrace to her family, financially dependent, isolated in a
special room, and prohibited from all her rights.
The Republic of Yemen, as several
countries, worked hard to establish a health system and a health
strategy according to long term basic development by providing
the necessary sources for the health services and building the
capacity of the health cadre to achieve the concept “Health for
all”, and also to provide the best ways and conditions for the
professional and productive life of the cadre. The basic for
that was by establishing several governmental hospitals and
health centers and units in the cities and districts of the
Governorates, where the government relied on these health
facilities to play the main role of providing the Primary Health
Care services to the society through their clinics and different
departments, which were provided with the needed equipments and
staff. The health problems of the handicapped women,
unfortunately, were not considered while designing the health
facilities, or training the cadre or providing the services.
This increased generally the deterioration of the health
situation of all the handicapped people, especially the
handicapped women, since they didn’t concentrate on and take
care of their health status. This lead them to a situation
where they were incapable to understand the details of the
diseases, the complications and how to prevent themselves due to
the absence of the trained health cadre on the disabilities
issues. With the absence of the suitable health care for this
category, the handicapped women were enable to get the health
services except for those who have aware families or money or
both, otherwise, they have to have patience until something out
of the blue would come, or to wait until they die and this is a
well known situation for all of us.
It is well known that the
illiteracy rate among women is very high in Yemen although it
was improved a lot during the last five years. The effects of
illiteracy on the mother in growing up their children, and
preventing them from the accidents or the diseases, which may
lead them to be handicapped, are well known. The handicapped
women with the different kinds of disabilities have the right to
have the accessibility to get this
Social service “Education” and to
be well trained on it. With the presence of high rate of
illiteracy, the disabilities will spread more and it will be
very difficult to overlap its problems. The Handicapped women
face a lot of obstacles and problems that prevent them from
continuing their education such as:
accessibility of reaching the schools’ building.
lack of acceptance from the school directory where the
handicapped is considered as a burden on the teachers and
sarcastic way of the students towards handicapped.
lack of wheel chairs, walking stick, and supportive instruments.
lack of specialized centers for handicapped people comparing
with the population number.
services are only provided in the Governorates and some city
difficulties of transportation, and the carelessness of the
families to take the handicapped women to the schools.
laws are ignored concerning the rights of the handicapped women
in getting the suitable special education.
We have to look to what has been
done until now in terms of the handicapped rights in
development. It was ordered by, the Yemeni constitution, the
laws, and the regional and international signed agreements by
the Yemeni Government, which all indicate on the necessity of
giving the handicapped their chances, which support them in
overlapping their problems and blend in the society. The
reality shows that the matter of the handicapping and especially
the handicapped women is absent from development and planning.
The proof for that are all the submitted strategies from the
concerned people that avoid the involvement of this category,
and their role during planning, implementation, and while
putting the strategies. Where is the participation? Where is
the development? Where is the planning according to needs and
objectives? We (Handicapped) are, as human being, one of the
development objectives, so when the development programmes will
The donors’ are mainly the essential
motivator to support the woman handicapped to go out to the
society and give her the importance in their projects. Also,
the donors provide the support, training and rehabilitating to
the handicapped women. Due to this financial and emotional
support from the donors, couples of handicapped women and
organizations achieved a lot of success at different levels.
When the local NGOs felt the interest of the donors in the
handicapped matters, they started to be interested in this
matter for different hidden or clear objectives. Most of the
handicapped women were happy with the interest of these NGOs
although it was late whatever were their objectives. The
handicapped women will be happy if the association of
handicapped will take its role in caring about them. The
handicapped women are still waiting for that role.
Some of the very few available
studies show that they are different types of Violence against
handicapped women such as; exclusion from education,
disinheritance, physical abuse, and even sexual harassment,
which are not reported due to the cultural and social values in
our society. It was also discovered through our work with the
handicapped women that most of their disabilities are results of
the families’ aggression.
First: Legislations Challenges.
Restudying and modernizing the handicapped law.
Investigating the implementation processes the handicapped law,
especially the percentage of employment (5%).
Enhancing the awareness roles of the information institutes
concerning handicapped people in order to aware the society
about their problems.
Implementing the Child and human rights laws concerning the
special needs of the handicapped people such as: schooling,
available teachers, and the needed methods…etc.
handicapped problems will not be reflected unless the
handicapped people will have representatives in all the planning
and legislative institutes.
Second: Services challenges.
quick implementation of the special paths for the handicapped in
all the ministries, the governmental and nongovernmental
institutions, and especially in schools.
coordination of the educational programmes and empower the
handicapped women in material’s production, marketing and income
health services and the health insurance are the most needed
services to be provided to the handicapped people from their
organization, the government, and the donors since health is
their biggest problem.
Providing the handicapped organizations with lands or suitable
buildings to implement their activities since most of their
budgets is going for rents.
handicapped women have the right to participate in the
development processes to enable them to work, product, and
survive in the society.
handicapped women have the right to participate in the different
awareness campaigns such as; handicapped integration, children
and youth problems, early marriage, and wars and mines problems.
empowerment of the handicapped unity to play its role, in
providing services to the handicapped people, and empowering
them in terms of planning, following up and evaluating their own
activities in order to develop them.
Fourth: Encouragement and support.
handicapped people thank the government and the political
leaders for all the achievements and would like them to continue
supporting the handicapped at all levels.
handicapped Yemeni women are grateful to their local people,
Embassies, and international organizations for all kinds of
direct and indirect support.
handicapped women are thankful to the Women National Committee,
which gave them this opportunity to talk in this important
hope to integrate the handicapped problem to the national
program of poverty eradication.