From May 21-23, 2019, the Inclusion International team visited Dhaka, Banglade sh to talk to self-advocates and their families about barriers to employment for people with intellectual disabilities in Bangladesh.
Over 60 participants joined the consultation, including 26 self-advocates from three organizations in Bangladesh – Society for Education and Inclusion of the Disabled (SEID), Society for the Welfare of the Intellectually Disabled (SWID), and the Down Syndrome Society of Bangladesh.
This workshop is part of Inclusion Works!, a project funded by UK Aid (DFID) to improve access to employment for people with disabilities in 4 countries – Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, and Bangladesh. Inclusion International will be working with our members and partners in these four countries to raise awareness among employers, self-advocates, and families about the right to employment.
During the workshop, we talked about attitudes toward employment in Bangladesh, the challenges facing people with intellectual disabilities seeking work, and what type of project activities we can do in Bangladesh to help make sure that people with intellectual disabilities are included in the labour market. Participants also participated in a one-day training about Article 27 of the CRPD, which outlines the right to employment.
During the consultation, self-advocates told us that stigma and employer attitudes are the biggest barrier to employment, and that attitudes of coworkers can also be a challenge for people who have been hired by an employer. Self-advocates also told us that it is particularly difficult for women with intellectual disabilities to find employment in Bangladesh, and that when people do get hired they are often not paid a fair wage.
Inclusion International’s project work in Bangladesh will build the capacity of our members to address these employment issues. We will train self-advocates in Bangladesh on their employment rights, train families on how to support employment, and work to raise awareness among employers to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities in Bangladesh have access to employment and that no one is left behind.