The Stigmatization of Disabilities in Africa and the Developmental Effects
KeywordsFamily, Life Course, and Society
Inequality and Stratification
Public Health Education and Promotion
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AbstractStigmatization still exists in large scale and leads to exclusion and continued poverty and poor standard of life for persons with disabilities, especially for those living in Africa. The main cause of stigmatization in Africa is a lack of education about disabilities and the needs of persons with disabilities. The unknown creates fear in society and exclusion for persons with disabilities, prohibiting them from obtaining decent education, proper health care and having access to jobs and financial support. Since the Convention for the Rights of Disabled Persons (CRPD) in 2006 societal education has been supplemented by implementation of development programs as a means of inclusion in education, health and employment programs, but there is still a ways to go. There is a gap between many countries’ ratification of the CRPD and execution of these programs. Those who are working for inclusion are primarily specialized organizations and NGOs. Issues faced by persons with disabilities need to be mainstreamed for true change to occur. This comes in the form of the Post 2015 Millennium Development Goals, which still do not fully acknowledge the marginalization of persons with disabilities. The focus needs to be on specific programs and assessments and better coordination between international and national governments.