> Posted by Jeffrey Riecke, Communications Assistant, CFI
Today, people all around the world are celebrating International Day of Persons with Disabilities. And, whether the focus is financial or any other type of inclusion for persons with disabilities (PWDs), we here at CFI would be remiss if we didn’t join in the festivities.
The International Day has been observed since 1992, and encompasses activities around the globe. The United Nations, which functions as the principal promoter, features an online list of events being held by governments, UN agencies, organizations, and communities in Australia, Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The impressively global – and inclusive – Day brings awareness to disability issues, acknowledges the integral role of persons with disabilities in society, and further promotes full inclusion for PWDs. The theme of this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities is “Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all.”
Although it was a week early, we were able to share the Center’s thoughts on financial inclusion for persons with disabilities at the Microfinance India Summit last week. Josh Goldstein, Principal Director for Economic Citizenship and Disability Inclusion, spoke on building a microfinance sector that is accessible to persons with disabilities. Nearly 15 percent of the world’s population has a disability, and over 80 percent of these individuals live in developing countries, but fewer than one percent of the clients of microfinance institutions are PWDs, according to a 2005 study by Handicap International. CFI is working to eradicate this discrepancy through advocacy, collaboration with microfinance industry stakeholders, demonstration projects, and by building and disseminating a “how-to” body of knowledge to support financial service providers in offering fully inclusive services.
If you’d like to learn more about CFI’s work with PWDs, visit our website. If you’d like to learn more about the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and find events happening today in your area, head over to the UN’s event webpage.
Image credit: Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images/ Health Me Up
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