RAMALLAH, Monday, December 03, 2018 (WAFA) – The number of people with disabilities in the Gaza Strip has sharply increased over the past 10 years from 3.7% of the total population to 6.8% in 2017, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said in a report published on Monday.
Gaza has been under a strict Israeli blockade since 2007 and went through three devastating Israeli wars that left thousands people dead and injured and tens of thousands of homes destroyed. Many wounded suffered from permanent disability, according to hospital reports.
The PCBS said, marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the percentage of people with disabilities increased in Gaza Strip in 2017 compared to a slight decrease in the West Bank.
It said that 225,228 persons suffered from at least one difficulty, which constitute 5.8% of the total population of Palestine; 127,266 in the West Bank constituting 5.1% of the total population of West Bank, and 127,962 in Gaza Strip constituting 6.8% of the total population of Gaza Strip.
The data also showed that the prevalence of difficulties among persons increased during the last 10 years, where it was 4.7% in Palestine in 2007 (5.3% in West Bank and 3.7% in Gaza Strip) then increased to 5.8% (5.1% in West Bank and 6.8% in Gaza Strip) in 2017.
On the other hand, said the PCBS, the percentage of persons with difficulties in Palestine in 2017 among males was 6.3% and 5.4% among females, while 2007 data indicated that the percentage reached 4.8% among males and 4.6% among females.
Statistics showed that 2.9% of the total persons in Palestine are with mobility difficulties in 2017. Seeing difficulty is the second most prevalent with 2.6%. Compared to 2007 seeing difficulty was the most prevalent with 2.5% in Palestine followed by mobility difficulty with 1.8% of total population.
Data showed that illiteracy among persons (10 years and above) with difficulties decreased by 37% between 2007 and 2017, where it was 33% in 2007 and fell to 21% in 2017. However, the gender gap in illiteracy rates remained high with male illiteracy rates reaching 11% compared to 33% among females. Meanwhile, in 2007, the percentage among males was 20% compared to 48% among females in Palestine.
A total of 27% of children (6-17 years) with difficulties in 2017 were not enrolled in education (32% in the West Bank compared to 24% in Gaza Strip). In 2007, the percentage of children with difficulties in the same age group who were not enrolled in education was 24% (22% in the West Bank, and 27% in Gaza Strip).
Data also showed a rise in the unemployment rate among persons with disabilities in 2017. This rate rose from 24% (15.7% in West Bank and 41.2% in Gaza Strip) among persons 15 years and above with disabilities in the labor force in 2007 to reach 37% (18.8% in West Bank and 53.7% in Gaza Strip) in 2017.