Protecting the rights of everyone: citizens' views on disabilities

Almost half of citizens (46%) report to have witnessed discrimination in employment against people with disabilities. At the same time only two out of ten (17%) know of any organisations that give preferential treatment in terms of employing people with disabilities. Among these, citizens reported that 38% are governmental institutions. Similarly citizens report knowing of school age children with disabilities who are not in school; one out of three claim this for primary school age children and two out of ten for secondary school age children.

These findings were released by Twaweza in a research brief titled Protecting the rights of everyone: citizens’ views on disabilities. The brief is based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative high-frequency mobile phone survey that interviews households across Mainland Tanzania. Data were collected in July 2014.

The findings, based on citizens’ perceptions, reveal deep rooted discrimination against people with disabilities either directly or through not making services and jobs accessible. Citizens hold patronizing attitudes towards people with disabilities. A large majority (91%) see people with disabilities as needing to be ‘cared for’.  Similarly one out of three citizens report viewing people with disabilities awkwardly (33%) or as getting in the way (32%). Almost half of the respondents (46%) view people with disabilities as a financial burden for their families and four out of ten (39%) view them as less productive than people without disabilities.

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Authors: Angela Ambroz



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