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Disability and poverty

Disability and poverty: A global challenge

Arne H. Eide
Benedicte Ingstad
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  • Book Info
    Disability and poverty
    Book Description:

    This book is about being disabled and being poor and the social, cultural and political processes that link these two aspects of living. Environmental barriers, limited access to services and discriminatory attitudes and practice are among key elements that drive disabled people into poverty and keep them there. 'Disability and poverty' explores the lived realities of people with disabilities from across the developing world and examines how the coping strategies of individuals and families emerge in different contexts.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-886-8
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. List of tables and figures
    (pp. iv-iv)
  2. INTRODUCTION Disability and poverty: a global challenge
    (pp. 1-14)
    Benedicte Ingstad and Arne H. Eide

    This book is about being disabled and being poor and the social, cultural and political processes that link these two aspects of living in what has been characterised as a ‘vicious circle’ (Yeo and Moore, 2003). It is also about the strengths that people show when living with disability and being poor: how they try to overcome their problems and make the best out of what little they have. It is a book about those who we will call ‘the heroes of everyday life’.

    The book aims to provide cross-cultural – and cross-national – perspectives on the situation of living...

  3. ONE Social inclusion of people with disabilities in poverty reduction policies and instruments: initial impressions from Malawi and Uganda
    (pp. 15-30)
    Margaret Wazakili, Tsitsi Chataika, Gubela Mji, Kudakwashe Dube and Malcolm MacLachlan

    This chapter reviews the importance of people with disabilities being included in the process of national and international development, and of them being substantial beneficiaries of this process. We begin by briefly considering the case for social inclusion in international development work in low-income countries. We then review the internationally agreed targets set out in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and how these targets may be restated in terms that are more inclusive of people with disabilities. Next we describe an important policy instrument – the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) – that has a critical role in achieving these...

  4. TWO Disability, poverty and healthcare: changes in the canji (‘disability’) policies in the history of the People’s Republic of China
    (pp. 31-54)
    Heidi Fjeld and Gry Sagli

    The Chinese economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the world today, but the growth is to an increasing degree unevenly distributed. Large parts of the population in rural areas, especially in the western provinces, remain economically marginalised and poor, while urban coastal centres prosper (Ravallion and Chen, 2004; Dalen, 2006; Fan and Sun, 2008). International statistics point to three particularly vulnerable groups in the economic development in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) today: minority ethnic groups, women and people with disabilities (ADB, 2004; Edmonds, 2005). This chapter concerns the latter. Lack of access to adequate healthcare...

  5. THREE Living conditions among people with disabilities in developing countries
    (pp. 55-70)
    Arne H. Eide, Mitch E. Loeb, Sekai Nhiwatiwa, Alister Munthali, Thabale J. Ngulube and Gert van Rooy

    Living conditionsandpovertyare two common quantifiers or parameters of socioeconomic status and both have evolved from rather narrow economic and material concepts to encompass broader and more complex understandings.

    According to Heiberg and Øvensen (1993), studies onliving conditionshave evolved to include individuals’ capabilities and how they utilise their capabilities. Likewise, the concept ofpovertyhas expanded beyond a derived level of income or accumulation of material goods whereby ‘poverty is now seen as the inability to achieve certain standards’, poor people ‘often lack adequate food, shelter, education, and health care’, and ‘they are poorly served by...

  6. FOUR “No disabled can go here…”: how education affects disability and poverty in Malawi
    (pp. 71-92)
    Stine Hellum Braathen and Mitch E. Loeb

    Poverty is often conceptualised as resulting from a poor economy or as a lack of personal goods and material wealth. Recent years, however, have witnessed a shift in the parameters that define poverty as well as an overall approach to poverty. Wolfenson and Bourguignon (2004) describe this as a shift from poverty defined and measured by the level of income or consumption, to the notion of poverty as the lack of access to food, shelter, education, employment, healthcare and more. This reallocation of the poverty concept is in agreement with the description of poverty put forward byThe World Summit...

  7. FIVE “We too are disabled”: disability grants and poverty politics in rural South Africa
    (pp. 93-118)
    Camilla Hansen and Washeila Sait

    This chapter investigates the relationship between disability and poverty in the new democratic South Africa. During this country’s transitional period, a new conceptual understanding of disability has mainstreamed disability in new policies and laws. The anthropological material presented here shows how these processes of programme implementation have shaped people’s social experiences in rural areas of the Eastern Cape, around Mthatha. The history of apartheid, with its establishment of structural inequalities, has created a specific type of poverty forming people’s social experiences as well as their understanding of disability.

    The process of implementing disability grants (included in the Comprehensive Social Security...

  8. SIX Displacement, mobility and poverty in northern Uganda
    (pp. 119-136)
    Herbert Muyinda and Susan R. Whyte

    Shattered livelihoods and entrenched poverty are pressing issues for people with mobility disabilities in displacement locations in northern Uganda. For over two decades there has been a prolonged civil war in northern Uganda, covering the whole of Acholiland,¹ between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Uganda government forces. The LRA war has been characterised by violence and brutality, leading to the displacement of the local population (Finnsrom, 2003; MSF, 2004; Refugee Law Project, 2004; UNICEF, 2004; Allen, 2006). For the period 1996-2004 an estimated 1.2 million people in the region were displaced and in Gulu district alone, over 400,000...

  9. SEVEN Where culture really matters: disability and well-being in Yemen
    (pp. 137-152)
    Benedicte Ingstad, Arwa Baider and Lisbet Grut

    Since the early 1970s so-called ‘disability studies’ has been a growing field of interest in anthropology. There are several reasons for this. First, a focus on the disabled body links up to themes of interest in mainstream anthropology such as ‘the body’, ‘normality and deviance’, ‘stigma’ etc. Second, it has to do with the medically or mentallyimpairedbody, and as such, with the growing field of medical anthropology as a sub-discipline. Third, a group of scholars have recently come together and made an interesting anthology on the fruitful use of Foucault’s theoretical perspective on the topic of disability (Tremain,...

  10. EIGHT Disability and barriers in Kenya
    (pp. 153-170)
    Lisbet Grut, Joyce Olenja and Benedicte Ingstad

    People with impairments encounter many barriers in their daily life. In this chapter we describe the variety of barriers and see how the collected sum of many barriers influence access to what is considered essential and indispensable for all humans: healthcare services and education. We illuminate some of the mechanisms that create and maintain a difficult life in a resource-poor context by describing the particular challenges people living in poverty with disabilities encounter. We also describe some of the given options of coping with these challenges. We argue that a family perspective should direct actions that are implemented in order...

  11. NINE Disability and social suffering in Zimbabwe
    (pp. 171-188)
    Jennifer Muderedzi and Benedicte Ingstad

    Zimbabwe is a land-locked country in southern Africa. It shares borders with South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique. It has a population of 13 million people, 348,861 of whom are people with disabilities (CSO, 2004). Half of the people with disabilities are children (Government of Zimbabwe, 2004). Zimbabwe is mostly a rural country and there is a higher poverty incidence in rural areas (63%) than in urban areas (53%). Most rural households in Zimbabwe are located in drought-prone provinces, for example in Matabeleland North (Binga District). They are subsistence farming households that mainly depend on dry land farming and are...

  12. TEN “My story started from food shortage and hunger”: living with landmines in Cambodia
    (pp. 189-206)
    Merete Taksdal

    Cambodia is one of the countries in the world most contaminated with landmines and explosive remnants of war. The mines are not deployed in what we would traditionally call ‘minefields’, visualised by barbed wire and warning signs. Nearly 90% of victims in 2006 reported that there were no mine signs in the vicinity of the accident (CMVIS, 2007). In addition to the extensive placement of mines by all armies, the US dropped nearly three million tons of general-purpose bombs and cluster bomblets¹ on Cambodia during the Vietnam War (Owen and Kiernan, 2006). During the Khmer Rouge period, mines were used...

  13. ELEVEN Poverty as trauma: methodological problems when reality gets ugly
    (pp. 207-224)
    Hans Husum and Odd Edvardsen

    Rehabilitation means re-building my habitus, my home, the position where I am I. By this we are face the unpleasant question:who am I?Like it or not, we are taken deep into the field of identity politics where three basic questions have to be answered: first, accounts of reality depend on position in space – the account of reality as seen by the insiders, the downtrodden poor, is different from accounts set up by privileged outsiders of brief transit study missions. So, what are the voices we hear in research reports from oppressed communities? Second, knowledge is also situated...

  14. EPILOGUE Some concluding thoughts: the way ahead
    (pp. 225-232)
    Arne H. Eide and Benedicte Ingstad

    Disability and poverty and the relationship between the two are complex and dynamic phenomena and thus not easy to grasp in one theoretical model or within one scientific paradigm. As exemplified in the chapters in this book, explanations to the disability–poverty circle may be social, structural, political and cultural. A refreshing, and even provoking, perspective is brought forward in questioning the very distinction between the two (Hansen and Sait, Chapter Six). As both concepts have developed, they may at least be seen as overlapping. It is particularly interesting that this challenge to most literature on disability and poverty emerges...