Kippra: Work scarce for people with disabilities

Men on wheelchairs peddle down a street during car free day event in Kisumu City. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Work discrimination against people living with disabilities (PWDs) is not getting the attention it deserves despite decades of lobbying, a new report shows.

The Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (Kippra) says in a report that despite Kenya having made milestones in legal and policy environment, which aim at supporting PWDs, the group still faces various forms of exclusion in various socio-economic areas.

"On labour participation, PWDs are largely unemployed or experience low earning as a result of employer perceptions, discrimination and academic qualifications," says the document titled 'Enhancing Inclusivity by Empowering Persons with Disabilities.

Progress and gap analysis findings show that PWDs in the working age group (15 to 64 years) are less likely to be engaged in economic activity (59.7 per cent) relative to other members of society at 69.9 per cent.

A larger proportion of the employed PWDs are still likely to be in informal employment or agriculture. "By implication, a lower proportion of PWDs are employed within the formal sector - indicating their relative disadvantage in accessing good quality jobs," the report says.

In public service, the employment participation of PWDs between 2017 and 2019 was lower than that of the overall population at 35 per cent and 57 per cent, respectively.

"Compared to other groups and the overall population, a lower proportion of PWDs are employed within the formal sector, indicating their relative disadvantage in accessing good quality jobs.

"This outcome can be associated with the difficulty of PWDs in accessing education, among other factors," says Kippra.

The Kippra data computed from 2015-16 further reveals that in terms of work and employment, only 16 per cent of PWDs worked for pay while 33 per cent were self-employed, and 24 did not work at all.

"Nairobi had the highest number of PWDs who worked for pay with Coast and Central regions coming second and third having 32, 15 and 13 per cent respectively.

"Western and North Eastern had the lowest percentages of six and three per cent respectively," the report says.

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