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Closing the Employment Gap

Ugandans with Disabilities Advocate for a More Inclusive Work Environment

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Research shows that only 1.3 percent of formally employed Ugandans are disabled, while 80 percent of Ugandans with disabilities live below the country’s poverty line. DJP Fellow Christine Oliver Dhikusooka sets out to learn the reasons why – and to uncover possible solutions. In Dhikusooka’s first film for the DJP, we meet Kose Fatuma, a mother who weaves fishing nets to support herself and her son, and Martha Mutesi, a Deaf schoolteacher who participated in a job training program that changed the course of her life. “The … challenges that people with a disability face when it comes to accessing for employment opportunities, one of them is the attitude,” says Kalule Rashid, chairperson of the Uganda National Association of Cerebral Palsy. “To them here, I’m a person with a disability. … My words or my information I’m sharing here is full of cerebral palsy.” While Uganda has ratified some of the most progressive disability laws and policies in the world, advocates say the government needs to focus more on enforcing them.  

Video edited by Desmond LaFave. Jody Santos contributed to this report.

Photo of Christine Oliver Dhikusooka.

Filmmaker: Christine Oliver Dhikusooka

Christine Oliver Dhikusooka is a 48-year-old Catholic Ugandan, married with four children. She is a woman with a physical disability resulting from polio at age four. She holds an accounting diploma from Makerere Perfect Accountancy Centre in Kampala. Dhikusooka is the executive director of One Voice Heard 4 Disability Uganda (OVH4DU), a disability rights activist for women with disabilities in Uganda, and a policymaker in local government, representing women with disabilities. She serves as treasurer of the Council for Persons with Disabilities in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jinja.

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