Dhaka, Thursday, January 18, 2018

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Women with disabilities facing rehabilitation problems

DHAKA, Dec 28, 2017 (BSS) - Bangladesh's women are more vulnerable members of society than men as the number of female cases of disability is higher than that of their male counterpart.

According to recent government statistics, 7.59 per cent of the total women population in the country is physically and intellectually challenged.

The percentage of their male counterpart is lower at 6.27 per cent, the latest Household Income and Expenditure (HIES) Survey 2016 data showed.

According to the latest HIES 2016, country's total disabled population has been recorded at 6.27 per cent and most of them are still unemployed.

Bangladesh is one of the less-ranked countries in the world in terms of providing facilities for the disabled persons or physically challenged ones. They are not getting adequate services from the state.

Many countries in the globe offer different types of state facilities for the disabled persons.

According to the HIES 2016, the disabled persons in Bangladesh are mostly sufferings from eye sight difficulty, hearing difficulty, walking and climbing difficulty, remembering and concentrating difficulty, self-care difficulty and speaking and communicating difficulty.

Experts said most of our 6.94 per cent disabled persons remain idle due to the absence of post-treatment rehabilitation facilities.

They said many people become disabled due to the injuries sustained especially in the road accidents, and industrial hazards.

The Physiotherapy Department In-Charge at the Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed (CRP) at Mirpur in Dhaka Nowab Reza Md. Rashif said they handle many disabled persons in Bangladesh of whom females are most vulnerable.

He said the family members of the male disabled persons usually take care of them more than those of the female disabled persons. "In Bangladesh's social perspective, the women disabled persons are very much vulnerable than their male counterpart."

The specialist at CRP said the main challenges in Bangladesh are post-treatment rehabilitation of the vulnerable persons. "The injured persons who become disabled afterwards do not get adequate facilities for joining the usual works in the society."

The government and the private sector should come forward with adequate facilities for those persons so they could lead normal in the society and take part in nation building activities, he added.

Rashif said the government has started some progarmmes to give treatment and to rehabilitate the disabled persons, but those are inadequate.

He said the CRP and some private sector organizations have also come forward to give services to the injured persons and disabled ones so that they can survive in the society.

"Although the injured persons or disabled people are physically challenged, many of them have potentials for the development works. The state should research on the disabled persons to know their hidden quality and capability for the development works. And then they should be engaged in the works that matched them," the CRP therapist added.

Many women garment workers in Bangladesh became disabled due to their injuries at their workplace.

The Rana Plaza collapse in 2013 in Savar, Dhaka was one of the deadliest garment-factory accidents in the history of Bangladesh, where nearly 2,500 women workers faced injuries. Most of them later become disabled.

After the incident, many women became physically disabled as they cannot do their daily works properly. The state has could not provide them with adequate facilities for survival.

The German donor agency GIZ gave financial and technical support to rehabilitate the disabled garment workers and other injured or physically challenged persons who were mostly victims of road accidents.

According to the HIES 2016, it has been observed that the percentage of population suffering from any type of disability is 6.94 per cent at the national level. Such percentage for male is 6.27 per cent and for female is 7.59 per cent.

The HIES data showed that the rural areas is most vulnerable than the urban areas as the percentage of population who suffered from any sorts of disability is 7.27 per cent in the villages while 6.04 per cent in the urban areas.

Among the 7.27 per cent rural disability, 6.53 per cent are male and 8.0 per cent female.

In the urban areas, some 6.04 per cent are suffering from different types of disability. Among them, 5.57 per cent are male while 6.5 per cent female, the HIES data showed.