Summary of
The Handicapped Women

The 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 deteriorating.

  • Who are the handicapped people?

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 reasons of handicapping.

The main reasons are:

1)    Hereditary reasons.

2)    Environmental reasons.

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 pregnancy period.

 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.

  • Statistics:

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 situation of the handicapped woman.

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 health situation of the woman handicapped.

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.

  • The handicapped women and Education.

   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:

 -          The accessibility of reaching the schools’ building.

-          The lack of acceptance from the school directory where the handicapped is considered as a burden on the teachers and students.

-          The sarcastic way of the students towards handicapped.

-          The lack of wheel chairs, walking stick, and supportive instruments.

-           The lack of specialized centers for handicapped people comparing with the population number.

-          The services are only provided in the Governorates and some city centers.

-          The difficulties of transportation, and the carelessness of the families to take the handicapped women to the schools.

-          The laws are ignored concerning the rights of the handicapped women in getting the suitable special education.


  • The development and planning for handicapping.  

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 reach us?

  • The Donors’ role.

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.

  • The handicapped woman and Violence.

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.

  • The recommendations.

 First: Legislations Challenges.

1)    Restudying and modernizing the handicapped law.

2)    Investigating the implementation processes the handicapped law, especially the percentage of employment (5%).

3)    Enhancing the awareness roles of the information institutes concerning handicapped people in order to aware the society about their problems.

4)    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. 

5)    The handicapped problems will not be reflected unless the handicapped people will have representatives in all the planning and legislative institutes.

Second: Services challenges.

1)    The quick implementation of the special paths for the handicapped in all the ministries, the governmental and nongovernmental institutions, and especially in schools.

2)    The coordination of the educational programmes and empower the handicapped women in material’s production, marketing and income generation processes. 

3)    The 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.

4)    Providing the handicapped organizations with lands or suitable buildings to implement their activities since most of their budgets is going for rents.


Third: Responsibilities.

1)    The handicapped women have the right to participate in the development processes to enable them to work, product, and survive in the society.

2)    The 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.

3)    The 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.

 1)    The 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.

2)    The handicapped Yemeni women are grateful to their local people, Embassies, and international organizations for all kinds of direct and indirect support.

3)    The handicapped women are thankful to the Women National Committee, which gave them this opportunity to talk in this important conference.

4)    We all hope to integrate the handicapped problem to the national program of poverty eradication.