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Need to redefine disability to curb discrimination, says Sheikha Moza

Need to redefine disability to curb discrimination, says Sheikha Moza

QNA
Doha
HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Founder of Qatar Foundation for Social Work, has called for redefining the stereotypical understanding of disability to curb discrimination and misconceptions about people with disabilities.
In her opening speech at the Doha International Conference on Disability and Development held under the theme “Leaving no one behind” at Qatar National Convention Center on Saturday, Sheikha Moza emphasised how stereotypes and misconceptions, perpetuated by a prevalent social culture and mentality, shape current and past understandings of disability, often overlooking non-psychical and non-medical types of disabilities like the psychological ones brought on by harsh environments, whether related to family, society or the effects of war and conflict.
“If our concept of disability is based on visible disability, and ignores hidden disability, then doesn’t the illiterate suffer from an educational disability? Is ignorance not an intellectual disability? Isn’t there also such a concept as political disability? And isn’t the violation and assault against others a moral disability?” Sheikha Moza said.
She further added, “I also believe distinguishing people apart based on the definition of disability implicates a form of discrimination. Sometimes, I even feel that the exceptions we make for people with disabilities, with the intention of showing sympathy towards them, do more harm than good.”
Sheikha Moza called on the global community to collaborate on mechanisms for greater investment in people with disabilities to allow them to play active role in human development, especially through making education and employment opportunities more accessible.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and a number of sheikhs and ministers and specialists attended the opening.
Sheikha Moza then toured the exhibition set up for conference to highlight the successes achieved by persons with disabilities.

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