Are we moving forward? Regional Study on rights of women with disabilities in the Middle East

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Research Paper
Women with disabilities continue to face discrimination on a daily basis all over the world. In the Middle East and North Africa region poor rule of law and governance, traditional and cultural practices and prejudice, poverty are all factors impeding the successful fulfillment of the human rights of the most vulnerable section of society. The signing and ratification of the 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by many countries from the MENA region is a great prospect for advocacy, for bridging the inequality gap and making effective change that affects the lives of these girls and women. However, the way forward is to implement nationally the human rights principles of this convention and other human rights treaties such as the 1979 Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW ) and to challenge change in society through a bottom-down approach, engaging women with disabilities and empowering them to lead the social and institutional changes they require to be free and equal citizens in their countries. This study has sought to fill the gap existing in data and studies on women with disabilities in the region. It sought to collect analytical data, reviews and factual records to assess marginalization and discrimination against women with disabilities in terms of policy and laws. Through this plan, women with disabilities were fully engaged with local authorities and members of parliament, the media and other outlets to disseminate their message widely, which is their right to be involved in national movements. Moreover, national and local laws will be reviewed against the UNCRPD, therefore gender and disability will be the key factor of analysis. It is hoped that this study will be useful for the advancement of the rights of women with disabilities and serve as a tool for regional and national governmental institutions and members of parliaments of Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Yemen and Sudan. It is also expected to be useful for advocacy and future project planning for Donors, NGOs and UN agencies, media and public outlets, Human Rights, Women and Youth organizations.

Communications Specialist

Muna Al-Alul has almost a decade of experience, five of those years in a senior management position, working in a combination of roles including international relations, events management, content writing, editing and other writing tasks, communications and marketing. Muna has over seven years of experience writing proposals, reports, speeches, newsletters, website content and other related tasks. In addition Muna supervised up to six staff during her role as Project Manager of an international training program. She has worked in the development sector for the humanitarian mine action field for six years, as well as in the business and marketing fields for two years during her work with the American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan and one year with Union Marketing Group. Since 2013 Muna has been working as a communications specialist for the USAID-funded Jordan tourism development projects.

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