CAIRO: The Egyptian Coalition to Support the Rights of People with Disabilities launched a campaign to enhance the political participation of the disabled after a report revealed a staggering lack of interest in the issue.
The coalition released a study titled “The Reality of the Political Participation of People with Disabilities” in which found that 82 percent of the disabled in Egypt do not have voting cards. The study also showed that only 36 percent of them voted in the second round of the Shoura Council (Upper House of Parliament) elections held in June.
The study indicated that reasons for this lack in political participation are mostly due to not having voting cards. While 80 percent are not convinced with the validity of election process as a whole, 53 percent of showed indifference when it comes to politics.
The study also showed that 2 percent of them do not posses any official documents proving their identity.
However, some participants in the study showed interest in more political engagement, with 15.4 percent of them calling for applying pressure on decision makers to put their problems at the top of the state’s agenda.
The study indicated that 7.7 percent would like to set a quota for those with disabilities in different parliamentary councils, while 53.8 percent demanded more awareness about their social engagement and fighting stereotypes about the disabled as a marginalized group.
The study further recommended the state intervene to protect the right of people with disabilities to vote in referendums without intimidation and ensure flexibility in the process to suit their special needs.
The study called for ending discrimination against those with disabilities, including protecting their right to run as candidates in elections and holding high-ranking jobs.
The study said that cooperation between civil society and the state is needed to design a strategy driven by international treaties to guarantee full representation for people with disabilities.