x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Disabled Emirati women 'face more problems' than male counterparts

Study by the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy finds that disabled Emirati women are sidelined not only by the special needs community but also by other women.

Emirati women with disabilities face more problems navigating everyday life than Emirati men with disabilities, and are sidelined not only by the special needs community but also by other women, according to the results of a study released today by The Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy.

The study is one of the first to examine how physical disabilities, hearing impairments and visual impairments affect the lives of Emirati women. It was conducted by researchers at UAE University, in Al Ain, with additional researchers from the UAE Ministry of Social Affairs.

The researchers will present their findings later this month at the 2011 Asian Conference on Education, held in Osaka, Japan.

In a news release, The Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy - which provided financial backing for the study - summarised the study’s findings.

The team of researchers surveyed 150 women and girls with disabilities, plus 38 sets of parents with disabled daughters.

They found that Emirati women with disabilities face a “double discrimination of having special needs and being a woman,” according to the news release. Women with visual and hearing impairments generally face more difficulties here than those with physical disabilities, because it is harder for them to access the UAE’s educational facilities, according to the study. And unmarried Emirati women with disabilities face more difficulties than their married counterparts, because the married women are better cared for by their families, the researchers found.

Based on their survey, the researchers suggested that UAE policymakers and the special needs community better support the right of women with disabilities to access educational services without discrimination. The researchers also suggested increasing the availability of community support programmes for women with disabilities, plus better access to vocational training and more support for women with disabilities who are seeking jobs.

The study was one of several grant-winning projects from the 2009 Emirati Family Research Competition, sponsored by The Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy.