Disability Rights and Inclusiveness in Africa

This week's review identifies how the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been implemented across African states, amplifying grassroots perspectives and the challenges of attaining disability rights in the continent.

Disability Rights and Inclusiveness in Africa: The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Challenges and Change, African issues, 44

Grischow, Jeff D. ed. by Jeff D. Grischow and Magnus Mfoafo-M’Carthy James Currey, 2022
277p bibl index, 9781847012913 $29.95, 9781800103832 $24.95

Disability Rights and Inclusiveness in Africa book cover.

This timely volume illustrates how several African states—South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Cameroon—have applied the 2004 United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to address the needs of individuals with disabilities. Such persons—an estimated 15 percent of the world’s population—tend to be poor and widely stigmatized; suffer discrimination; and have low literacy rates, poor health care, and high levels of unemployment or menial, low-paying jobs. This collection recounts how the CRPD was prepared, ratified by the UN, and adopted by states. The editors discuss the Convention’s provisions and argue for “a holistic approach that grounds a rights-based model of disabilities within an Indigenous cultural framework” (p. 33). Focusing on Anglophone countries, the volume’s 17 contributors examine how African rights movements frame disability rights, adults with intellectual disabilities, barriers to inclusive education, grassroots perspectives on implementation of the CRPD, deaf people’s knowledge and use of the Convention, and the vulnerabilities of persons with disabilities, notably women. The editors conclude this important, panoramic volume by summarizing the rights guaranteed by the CPRD, the responsibilities of governments, and lessons for moving forward.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty.
: C. E. Welch, emeritus, University at Buffalo, SUNY
Interdisciplinary Subjects: African and African American Studies, Law & Society
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences – Political Science – Comparative Politics
Choice Issue: Feb 2023

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