Disability Poverty and Inequalities in Morocco and Tunisia

A growing body of research is exploring the relationship between disability and poverty. There is increasing evidence that persons with disabilities are more likely to be poor than their non-disabled counterpart in most countries. The relationship has been established not only in terms of income but increasingly evidence shows that disability is associated to many other dimensions of deprivation. The present paper presents the multidimensional poverty index (MPI) based on 17 indicators of deprivation collected through household surveys in Morocco and Tunisia. Our indicators cover a wide range of domains of poverty such health, education, employment, living conditions, material well-being, social participation, psychological well-being and physical security. Results show that persons with disabilities (PwDS) are poorer than non-disabled people in both countries. Findings also highlight that stigma is a major issue: attitudes lead to considering PwDs as second-class citizens who are entitled to collective assistance but not as holder of rights. This ongoing mindset of charitable approach is an important source of mental stressor. Public policies aiming at improving economic and social inclusion of PwDs in both countries necessitate the raising of population awareness.

Interview, Tunis, Tunisia, 2013

Interview, Settat, Tunisia, 2014

Parul Bakhshi and research-team Morocco-2013

Interview with tablet, Tunisia, 2014