November 24, 2010 / Abu Dhabi / (Rich-Joseph Facun / The National) Nada Jaafar al Bustani (CQ), Head of Quality Assurance Unit with The Higher National Security Council, National Emergency and Crisis Management Authority, at her office, Wednesday, November 24, 2010 in Abu Dhabi. Bustani is currently working to prepare and develop a guide for the security and safety of people with special needs within the UAE. She also aims to raise awareness in the UAE about people with special needs and to help establish a data base documenting those with special needs.
Emotionally, the disabled Arab women is perceived as a burden on her family and society. Because of her disability she is unable to become productive, and rather, she is dependent on the family. She is also perceived with pity and sympathy, but not with support and encouragement. This situation makes her sensitive to her disability, and tends to negatively impact her self-esteem and self-confidence. Like any other woman, a disabled woman is concerned about her future and about her happiness, but the problem is that she does not have the chance to develop emotionally. By the way she is treated by others in society, and through the way she perceives herself as an incompetent individual, she tends to be isolated and absented on the personal and emotional levels.
Socially, the disabled Arab woman is not usually seen as individual deserves respect or support, but rather, sympathy and pity. This is due to the social structure in the Arab world which only gives the strongest the chance to develop and to grow in society. The disabled Arab woman finds it very difficult to advance in society because she is not given the chance to do so.
Similarly, the economic development of disabled Arab women is field that still needs a lot of progress. Arab women are still striving for their economic independence, yet they have gained a lot of rights indeed. Disabled women are not entitled to enjoy most of these rights because of their disabilities. Disabled women do not only need to enjoy the right to get a job and an equal pay despite their disability, but they also need to enjoy the right to be appreciated as competent workers and productive agents in the economy.
So far, most of the development and improvement in the status of disabled Arab and Lebanese women has been a matter of raising new slogans. Real development, however, has not been achieved. It is true that governments are trying to improve the situation of disabled women in the Arab societies, but this cannot only be achieved through the enactment of new laws and regulations. Rather, this requires a major change in the social, economic, and political systems and the ways in which these systems deal with the cases of disabled women.
I need help with Disabled Arab Women Assignment:
To start with, the first most important aspect that needs to be addressed is the provision of adequate health services to disabled Arab women. The ignorance of medical authorities, the inadequacy of the medical systems in the ways they handle these case, and above all, the lack of funds and provisions to help disabled women deal with their physical disablement are all responsible for the current situation. It is the duty of the individual, the NGOs, the media and interest groups to support the cause of disabled women by campaigning for funds in order to establish adequate health centers that enable these women to get over their disabilities. It is important to mention that many of these disabilities may be reduced and even dealt with practically if such funds are available, and if new services are added to the health systems.
Secondly, it is important to establish a special employment system which can protect the rights of disabled women. These women are not only discriminated against on the level of equal opportunities to get jobs, but also on the level of payment, compensation, and retirement. It is important that the state and the legislature start enacting strict laws that will protect the rights of these women and that will make sure that no discrimination is allowed. Like in the US and many western countries, it is important that businesses be ready to accommodate disabled individuals, both men and women, by providing the adequate physical necessities in the work place.
Schools, universities and colleges should also be ready to accommodate disabled women without any problem. The unconscious neglect of disabled women is very apparent in many educational institutions where the seats, the stairs, and many other physical attributes are not adequate for the movement or the accommodation of disabled individuals. This certainly creates an impediment to the development of disabled women. To resolve this problem, it is necessary to force through law, necessary adjustments to the physical systems in educational institutions such that disabled women can be accommodated easily, in order to provide them with equal opportunities to develop their education.
While these may represent some solutions to deal with the problems of disabled women, they do not provide preventive measures that will curb the rates of disability among women. Such preventive methods require drastic developments in the social and legal systems in society. For example, the state should start taking strict measures to discourage marriage among close relatives, to prohibit early marriages of girls, and above all, to impose special medical tests before marriage to make sure that disabled children will not be born to the couple.
In addition to this, special awareness campaigns will be necessary to educate people on issues such as avoiding the intake of any kinds of medicaments by pregnant women without consulting a doctor, in addition to handling simple health problems that may lead to disabilities if left untreated.
This is not to mention, of course, the fact that the state should commit itself to starting a program which will provide the necessary physical facilities for disabled women in all public premises and sites, so that the movement of these individuals becomes possible. In addition to this, special health and educational have to be constructed in order to deal with cases of disability.
All these solutions cannot be of any value if they are not accompanied by adequate changes and developments in the social and economic systems and in the way society perceives disabled people, especially women. It is the role of the state, of the educated people, and of the citizen in general to start such a long path by looking with respect, support and encouragement at a disabled woman who is striving to live her life just like any other woman or man would do. The whole issue is a matter of respect for human dignity before anything else.