• 25 April 2019


    Posteado en : Reportage


    Education as a tool for change

    Education is undoubtedly paramount for the development of society. Mindful as FIIAPP is of this fact, it strives for this tool for change to be developed in a number of the Foundation's projects

    Morocco school

    According to data from the European Statistics Office, Eurostat, in 2017, Spain continued to be the country in the European Union with the second highest number of early school leavers, followed by Romania. Even though our country has managed to reduce the rate of early school leavers, it still remains above the 15% agreed with the EU for 2020. 


    One place above Spain, Malta topped the list of early school leaver rates at 18.6%. At the other end of the scale, countries such as Croatia, Slovenia, Poland and Ireland were seen to have the lowest early school leaver rates with percentages of 3.1%; 4.3%, 5% and 5.1% respectively.  


    As far as EU member countries are concerned as a whole, fourteen of them have already reached the targets set for 2020: Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and Slovenia. 


    Moreover, according to Eurostat data, the overall early school leaver rate in the European Union is 10.6%, still six tenths above the 10% target for 2020. In terms of gender, 8.9% of young women leave education early, as opposed to 12.1% of young men.  


    Improving equity in education


    According to the OECD, “difficulties in education and in the labour market translate into differences in socio-economic results and in general welfare that are passed on from parents to children”.  


    During the presentation in Paris of the report on the situation in education in 2018, Education at a Glance 2018, Angel Gurría, secretary general of the OECD, stressed that “improving education is a collective effort that involves all stakeholders: the Ministry of Education, local authorities, teachers, school leaders and other members of the educational community“. 


    However, later on in his address he pointed out that “a centralised approach to education with a standardised allocation of resources does not necessarily guarantee equitable results“.


    International Day of Education 


    On 3 December 2018, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education. The initiative seeks to highlight the role of education in peace and development.  


    The resolution in question, namely 73/25, co-authored by Nigeria and 58 Member States, demonstrated, according to the United Nations, “the unwavering political will to support transformative actions for inclusive, equitable and quality education for all”.  


    UNESCO, as the United Nations organisation specialising in education, is in charge of observing the annual celebration of this International Day in collaboration with key decision makers in the education sector. 


    SDG 4: Quality education 


    Education is Sustainable Development Goals number 4. As is the case with the other 16 SDGs, this objective brings with it a series of targets that governments intend to see fulfilled by the 2030 Agenda.  


    These include ensuring that all girls and boys complete primary and secondary education, have access to early childhood care and development services and quality preschool education, eliminating gender disparities, ensuring equal access to all levels of learning and that all students acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to promote sustainable development, among a host of other targets.  


    According to the United Nations, currently over 265 million children do not go to school, 22% of whom are of primary school age. Moreover, it points out that in many parts of the world, the children who are attending school are lacking basic literacy and numeracy skills. Nonetheless, progress has been made in access to educational levels over the last decade, especially in the case of women and girls. However, this Sustainable Development Goal seeks to make greater advances in universal education.  


    FIIAPP is for education 


    We at FIIAPP are fully aware of the importance of education for society. Accordingly, the Foundation manages several projects focusing on education


    In the European Union-funded project ‘Support for the Higher Education System in Morocco’ specialists from the Regional Government in Castilla y León are working with their Moroccan counterparts to introduce techniques, methods and tools that serve to implement an ECTS credit system to assess degrees, thus bringing the Moroccan education system closer in line with the European one.  


    As a result of this project “Moroccan graduates will be able to present international employers, not only with a qualification, but also with its content, the acquired skills and descriptions in another language”, claims Rafael de Paz, coordinator of this project in Morocco. 


    Furthermore, our ‘Bridging the Gap’ project, attests to our commitment to guaranteeing quality, inclusive and equitable education for people with disabilities, given that the rate of early school leavers for people with disabilities is 43%.  


    Inclusive education not only covers disability. Inclusion also involves gender, ethnic groups, indigenous peoples and nationalities in the case of Ecuador, as well as helping to inculcate values of tolerance, respect for diversity, collaboration; what I mean is it is incredible the type of education that you can receive beyond mathematics, literature or the staple school subjects” says Paola Hinojosa, an inclusive education technician with the National Council for Equality of Disabilities (CONADIS) in Ecuador.


    Furthermore, FIIAPP is working together with the Castilla y León Regional Government’s Ministry of Education to reinforce the quality of the Algerian university system and to contribute to the development of the country’s economy through the project “Support for the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to Enhance the Teaching Skills of the Teachers-Researchers and Administration Management”.  This twinning project will provide Algeria with important organisational and methodological support so the Ministry can push through reforms and contribute to the success of the new vision for education, training and research. It will do this by methodically addressing the European recommendations on higher education established in the framework of the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area.

  • 28 March 2019


    Posteado en : Reportage


    8 de marzo: en busca de la igualdad

    International Women’s Day has become one of the most strongly supported international days of the year. At FIIAPP, we are aware of the importance of gender inclusion in our projects and we are committed to an equality plan within the Foundation

    The Government Delegate for Gender Violence, Pilar Llop Cuenca; the Director of OBERAXE, Karoline Fernández and the Head of Communication with the El PacCto project, María Jesús Martín at the round table held to mark International Women's Day at FIIAPP's headquarters

    Currently, around 7.55 billion people inhabit the planet. According to United Nations data, 49.5% of these are women, which translates into 3.71 billion.


    There are many obstacles that women face by simply being women. The OECD report “The Pursuit of Gender Equality: An Uphill Battle”, shows that women are still at a disadvantage in all areas of life and in all countries with respect to men.


    The Global Wage Report 2016/2017 prepared by the International Labour Organization (ILO) highlights that the wage gap increases as wages increase. According to data in a Eurostat report, in Spain in 2016, the gender wage gap was 14.9% compared to a European average 16.7%.


    Likewise, of all the people living in extreme poverty, 75% are women and girls. Of the total number of children who do not attend school, 60% are girls and, although women account for half of the food produced, they only own 1% of cultivated land.


    8 March, International Women’s Day


    tw_mujer-1024x512-jpgInternational Working Women’s Day was institutionalised by the United Nations on 8 March 1975 under the name International Women’s Day. However, the day was celebrated for the first time on 19 March 1911 in Europe, specifically in Germany, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland, and since then its commemoration has expanded to other countries.


    Year after year, 8 March has become one of the international days with the greatest impact on society, as it has become a day marked by a global call-to-arms in which women join forces to demand gender equality and a fair society. An ever increasing number of men are joining in and becoming aware of the problem of inequality that women face.


    Gender equality is, fundamentally, a matter of power. We live in a world dominated by men, with a culture that is dominated by men. “Only when we understand the rights of women as a common goal, as a path to change for the benefit of all, will we begin to tip the balance“, the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres highlighted in his message for World Women’s Day in 2019.


    “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”


    In 2019, the slogan for International Women’s Day has been “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”. This slogan places innovation by women at the centre of their efforts to achieve gender equality, since this requires social innovations that are valid for both men and women “leaving nobody behind“.


    #Metoo movement


    In a similar way to 8 March, women are also joining forces to raise their voices to advocate for gender equality through the #Metoo movement, which has become a protest movement that is active 365 days of the year. Through it, women around the world have had the opportunity to write about their experiences on social networks, reporting cases of sexual abuse and receiving support.


    SDG 5: Gender equality


    According to the United Nations, “gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but the foundation needed to achieve a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world“. In order to fulfil the objectives of the 2030 Agenda, gender equality has been included as the fifth of the Sustainable Development Goals . The wide-ranging aims of this goal include seeking to put an end to all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, eliminating all forms of violence against them, the adoption and strengthening of sound policies and the applicable of legislation to promote gender equality.


    Likewise, people with disabilities also suffer from gender inequality, especially when it comes to access to education. According to Ola Abu Ghraib, Director of Research and Global Influence at the Leonard Cheshire Organisation, “mechanisms must be improved to integrate girls with disabilities into the education system, and to integrate gender into the 2030 Agenda”.


    FIIAPP and gender mainstreaming


    On the occasion of International Women’s Day, on 7 March, FIIAPP held a round table that was attended by the Government Delegate for Gender Violence, Pilar Llop Cuenca, and the Director of the Spanish Observatory on Racism and Xenophobia (OBERAXE), Karoline Fernández, who highlighted the discrimination suffered by immigrant women in our society. The conclusion of this debate was the importance of “mobilising and raising awareness about gender violence through education“.


    FIIAPP wants to position itself as the first Spanish foundation active in the field of public sector cooperation to apply gender inclusion both internally and externally. The Foundation is, therefore, developing an equality plan that aims to offer the same opportunities to men and women within the institution.


    Similarly, FIIAPP is already working with various projects that have this gender insertion, such as EUROsociAL+ , EL PacCto:Support to AMERIPOL and the Convivir sin discriminación project.


    According to Manuel Sánchez, a project technician with FIIAPP, the Foundation “has two main challenges: one is to include a focus on gender within the foundation with a plan and a specific programme for this, and on the other hand the responsibility we have as male and female workers to incorporate this into our projects.


  • 14 March 2019


    Posteado en : Reportage


    Guardian Angels

    Laura Cárdenas is the author of this text and a EUROsociAL + expert in the development of an awareness strategy for alternative measures to prison

    Photograph of a prison in Latin America

    Just like every week, Miguel comes to PROMESEM, the Social and Community Insertion Program of the National Institute of Social Inclusion of Adolescents Uruguay (INISA). Every day psychologists, social educators, professors and teachers await to work closely with him and to comply with the sanction imposed by the court for the crime he committed, after a year of confinement, now in an open environment. “They are my guardian angels,” he explains. And that is the atmosphere in the INISA centre. Hugs, smiles, the smell of incense, decorated walls and teenagers, men and women, who are looking for encouragement and a way to make up for the damage they caused, to society and to themselves.


    Miguel is one of more than 300 teenagers who are under the protection of INISA, the governing body in charge of young people guilty of criminal conduct, within a system in which imprisonment “has been the rule rather than the exception”, according to its president, Gabriela Fulco.  That is why the State has created a new model for addressing non-custodial measures that “responds to the need to comply with the commitment acquired by the State on ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child ” and implies more extensive application of socio-educational and reintegration measures, facilitating the continuity of the social and family lives of teenagers and establishing peace within the community.


    Because of this, the European Union, through its EUROsociAL + programme, which is managed by the FIIAPP, is assisting INISA in this process by exchanging experiences and good practices in European and Latin American public policies in this area. These include designing a communication and awareness-raising strategy to serve as a guide to raise awareness among Uruguay’s citizens, state institutions, media and private sector of the need to promote the application of measures other than imprisonment to improve social cohesion.


    As explained by Fulco, from the perspective of both children’s rights and citizen security, imprisonment does not solve the problem of insecurity or improve the possibilities of social reintegration of teenagers. However, the model that applies alternative sanctions to imprisonment through socio-educational measures has demonstrated internationally lower rates of recidivism and greater reintegration.


    Integral work


    PROMESEN serves teenagers who have previously been imprisoned and others who have not . According to its director, Fernanda Albistur, there is a big difference between them: “Those who come after being incarcerated are stunned, during the initial weeks they do not even want to leave the house and many are afraid to come alone. They keep hearing the noises of the prison, the padlocks, the doors … It is much more difficult to get them to participate in the programme. Confinement also aggravates the family situation and all the conflicts they had prior to their detention and that were frozen reappear, “explains Albistur. “We often ask ourselves what we can do to repair the institutional damage caused by confinement, what we can do to repair the horrible experiences they have had.”


    Miguel went every week to the geriatric hospital Piñeiro del Campo, where elderly homeless people live, as part of one of the community service programmes the socio-educational sanction requires.


    Laura Berois, a teacher, accompanied the teenagers in this activity. “They have very complex lives and when faced with situations more difficult than theirs they become aware of how important it is to look after themselves,” she says.


    Mariela, who also participates in this programme, lives with her parents and grandparents in a neighbourhood that she does not like, she explains.  Now Mariela says that she has realised that “it is useless to take the easy way. You have to fight and live peacefully with other human beings . ”  Mariela imagines a future in which she can continue with her studies “to work and bring up my family because I want to be a nurse to be able to heal people”.  “I still have two months left to keep coming, but I’m going to do it. In addition, there are good people here, they help us “, she emphasises.


    Sofia Rodríguez is one of the PROMESEM educators. Every day, she faces the challenging task of seeing the conditions in which the teenagers live. Their basic needs and rights have been totally violated which is why “they care so little about their own lives”. They are teenagers who are totally excluded from society, from the education system, who are born and live in a criminal environment, which is why Sofia asks: “How can they be expected to respect the rights of others if all their own rights have been totally violated? Nobody questions why adolescents in trouble with the law do not belong to the middle or upper classes, but to the poor. As a society, we are responsible for what is happening”, she insists.


    Most have been neglected throughout their lives . Some have serious psychological disorders and cannot distinguish between right and wrong”, explains Carolina, one of the centre’s psychologists. However, all the workers at the centre praise these teenagers’ resilience.


    “I have never been treated as well as at Piñeiro Hospital. What’s more, the old people were always waiting for us and when we left they were sad. We did art together and even did an exhibition of the works at Santo Domingo City Hall”, says Miguel.  Now, Miguel, thanks to the agreement between the Municipality of Montevideo and INISA and, above all, to his change of attitude, has found a job and will be able to meet the needs of his newborn son and those of his family.

  • 28 February 2019


    Posteado en : Reportage


    Renewable energies and their relationship with climate change

    Climate change is increasingly evident. The FIIAPP is committed to sustainability through two projects focused on renewable energies and climate change: Cuba-Renewables and EUROCLIMA +.

    Dam located in Bolivia

    Renewable energies are clean, inexhaustible resources provided by nature. Unlike fossil fuels, producing energy this way does not emit greenhouse gases or pollution, so it does not affect climate change.


    At the Paris Climate Change Conference  held in December 2015, otherwise known as COP21, 195 countries signed the world’s first binding climate agreement. This agreement establishes a global action plan to keep global warming below 2ºC between 2020 and 2030.


    According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, if the share of renewable energies in the global energy scenario were doubled to 32% in 2030, this would improve wellbeing by 3.7% and increase employment in the sector to more than 24 million people.


    There are numerous sources of renewable energy such as wind energy, solar energy (obtained from the sun), and hydro energy (obtained from rivers and freshwater flows), biomass and biogas (from organic matter), geothermal energy (obtained from the interior of the Earth), tidal energy, wave energy, bioethanol (obtained by fermenting vegetable products) and biodiesel (obtained from vegetable oils).


    Renewable energy accounts for 46.7% of installed capacity in Spain. According to data extracted from the Report on the Spanish electricity system 2018 published by Red Eléctrica de España in 2018, renewable generation on the Peninsula increased from 33.7% to 40.1%.


    What are the advantages of renewable energies? 


    As we have already said, renewable energy production does not emit greenhouse gases, so it’s a clean solution that avoids environmental damage and does not affect climate change.


    Unlike traditional energy sources, renewable energies are also inexhaustible. These energies are as available as the sun they originate from and adapt to natural cycles .


    Because they are developed in the regions where they are installed, they make regions more energy-autonomous.


    Nor do they entail any risks to health since they are obtained naturally and can be used in all circumstances.


    Transition to 100% renewable energy sources 


    LUT University and the Energy Watch Group have published a report that shows the viability of a European energy transition towards 100% renewable sources. This study shows what it would mean to start using 100% renewable energy sources as opposed to those currently available, eliminating fossil fuels in all sectors before 2050.


    The study also highlights that electricity generation in the 100% renewable energy system will consist of a combination of solar, photovoltaic, wind, hydroelectric, bioenergy and geothermal energy sources .


    The data published in this study “demonstrate that Europe can switch to a zero-emission energy system . Therefore, European leaders can and must do far more to protect the climate than what is on the table today”, said Hans-Josef Fell, chairman of the Energy Watch Group.


    EUROCLIMA + and Cuba-Renovables 


    The FIIAPP participates in the management of two projects focused on climate change and renewable energies. On the one hand, the EUROCLIMA + programme, funded by the European Union, aims to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, because in this region urban transport shows a continuous increase in greenhouse gas emissions.


    “The fact that most of the population lives in cities, the use of public transport and a high index of renewable energy in the energy matrix, make Latin America an excellent scenario for sustainable mobility”, said Horst Pilger, sector head of the General Directorate of International Cooperation and Development of the European Union during COP24, held in December 2018.


    On the other hand, the project for the promotion of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in Cuba, developed as a cooperation strategy between the EU and Cuba, also known as Cuba-Renovables, supports the effective implementation of the policy for the development perspective of renewable sources of energy and the efficient use of energy and its regulatory framework.


    Photograph taken in Cuba by Maite Jaramillo, coordinator of the Cuba-Renovables project
    Photograph taken in Cuba by Maite Jaramillo, coordinator of the Cuba-Renovables project

    “We mustn’t forget that Cuba is a country rich in renewable resources and dependent on external fossil resources. Therefore, developing renewable energies would make an important contribution to the environment, and mean energy independence for the island, “says Maite Jaramillo, coordinator of the Cuba-Renovables project.


    Likewise, “the FIIAPP will contribute with experts’ exchanges and based on the work experience we already have in the country and the understanding we have with Cuba. In addition, it will contribute to the creation of networks in the sector”, he says.


    SDG 7: Guarantee access to affordable, safe, sustainable and modern energy for all. 


    In 2015, world leaders adopted a series of global objectives, known as Sustainable Development Goals   (SDG), which aim to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and improve citizens’ rights. In the case of renewable energies, these are mentioned in SDG number seven, which aims to guarantee access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.


    “Energy is the main contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60% of all global greenhouse gas emissions”, says the United Nations in a report on this SDG.


  • 24 January 2019


    Posteado en : Reportage


    Migración, una cuestión humana

    Due to the current situation, it is necessary to solve the main obstacles that impede the integration of migrants into host societies. Through "Living Without Discrimination", FIIAPP is working on the social integration of migrants

    Jemaa el-Fnaa square in Marrakesh

    Many of the people who leave their country do so voluntarily, in search of better prospects. However, many others are forced to flee to escape conflicts or terrorism in certain countries. According to the UN, there are 68 million forced immigrants, including 25 million refugees, 3 million asylum seekers and more than 40 million internally displaced persons.


    Due to the magnitude of this issue, in December 2000, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 18 December as International Migrants Day.


    The International Organization for Migration (IOM) defines migrants as “any person who is moving or has moved across an international border or within a State away from his/her habitual place of residence, regardless of the person’s legal status; whether the movement is voluntary or involuntary; what the causes for the movement are; or what the length of the stay is”.


    According to figures from the Global Migration Data Portal, belonging to IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Center, Asia hosts 31% of the international migrant population, Europe 30%, the Americas 26%, Africa 10% and Oceania the remaining 3%. In addition, in 2017 the number of international migrants reached 258 million worldwide, of which 48% are women.


    What is the International Organization for Migration (IOM)? 


    Such is the scale of migration that an organisation is needed to verify that migration is managed in an orderly and humane way. IOM was created to fulfil this purpose in 1951, and is the main intergovernmental organisation in the field of migration. IOM promotes international cooperation on migration issues, helps find solutions to migration problems and offers humanitarian assistance to migrants.


    Migration and the 2030 Agenda 


    Over the past decade, the international community has experienced an evolution in its vision of international migration and development. Since the first High-Level Dialogue was held in 2006, the discourse on world migration has been transformed. Examples of this are the search for ways to optimise the benefits of international migration for development, as well as the creation of the Global Forum on Migration and Development. The latter has increasingly focused on the review and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals related to migration, in particular through the setting-up of the Forum’s working group on the 2030 Agenda and the Global Compact on Migration.


    The adoption of the 2030 Agenda in 2015 and the inclusion of the goal relating to “orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people” is the first official contribution to the inclusion of migration for development in the United Nations. In the agenda, indicators have been developed that can be used to measure progress on how countries manage migration for development.


    Effects of immigration 


    The effects of immigration depend mainly on the context and how mobility is regulated in different countries. We cannot compare the situation of a person who voluntarily travels to another country to work with the situation of refugees who arrive in countries seeking asylum because of the situation in their place of origin. To understand the effects, we need to ask where, when, how and who.


    It is true that there is a growing recognition of the positive effects of migration, when it is safe, regular and well managed. Many governments around the world have expressed great interest in optimising the benefits of migration through more international alliances to make migration beneficial for all.


    However, one of the main obstacles preventing the integration of migrants into host societies, as well as their access to human rights, are the feelings of rejection, the negative attitudes and the discriminatory practices that they must face in their day-to-day lives.


    Formulating and implementing public policies aimed at combating racism, xenophobia, discrimination and intolerance is therefore fundamental since many migrants are subject to discrimination in areas such as access to housing, employment, health, education and social services.


    Living without discrimination in Morocco 


    The project “Living Together Without Discrimination: an approach based on human rights and the gender dimension”, which is financed by the European Union and which FIIAPP manages together with the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, is a good example of an initiative aimed at combating the problems mentioned above: racism, xenophobia, discrimination and intolerance towards migrants in our societies. In addition, the project relies on the collaboration of specialised institutions such as the Spanish Observatory on Racism and Xenophobia (OBERAXE).


    Its main objective is to strengthen public instruments and policies aimed at preventing and combating racism and xenophobia toward the migrant population in Morocco.


    “Living Without Discrimination provides an opportunity to strengthen the existing collaboration between Spain and Morocco on migration issues, learn about the experience of Spanish public institutions in implementing policies to combat racism and xenophobia, and benefit from existing best practices at a national and European level”, highlights Florencia Gaya Campal, project technician and expert in discrimination.


  • 28 December 2018


    Posteado en : Reportage


    La igualdad de las personas con discapacidad, un largo camino por recorrer

    There is still a long way to go to include persons with disabilities in all of our daily lives. This is why FIIAPP is working on projects such as Bridging The Gap to make this path ever shorter

    Moment at one of the Bridging The Gap events in Paraguay

    “Any restriction or absence in the ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.” This is how the World Health Organization (WHO) defines disability.  Definition published in 1980 in its International Classification of Deficiencies and Disabilities (CIDDM).


    Likewise, the WHO estimates that more than one billion persons live with some type of disability, which represents 15% of the world’s population. More and more people belong to this group, which is closely related to the ageing of the population and the increase in chronic diseases.


    For its part, the United Nations (UN), says that persons with disabilities tend to have fewer economic opportunities, more limited access to education and higher poverty rates. It also highlights that “children with disabilities are four times more likely to be victims of violent acts, the same proportion as adults with mental problems,” demonstrating the need to develop legislation to protect them. It must additionally be added that these people also face a series of obstacles such as transport and access to information.


    Access to health, education and employment


    Health is considered a fundamental right for society. However, for persons who have some type of disability it is extremely important, since their illness can improve or worsen depending on the healthcare provided, such as rehabilitation.


    Although it seems somewhat paradoxical, persons with disabilities need more healthcare on a regular basis, but benefit the least from this right, since 50% do not have access to healthcare. According to the WHO, many persons with disabilities do not have sufficient resources to pay for their treatments, despite the fact that 80% of persons with some type of disability live in developed countries.


    However, health is not the only area affected, these difficulties also extend to education. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics, there are currently around 560,000 disabled students in Spain between 16 and 17 years of age. Of these, 16.5% are in special education centres and the remaining 83.5% attend ordinary education. The number of students with disabilities is high but a high percentage of young persons with disabilities do not attend school, 43%.


    At the global level, children with disabilities are less likely to attend school, especially if they are poor. We also found inequality in access to education between boys and girls. Therefore, “mechanisms must be improved to integrate girls with disabilities into the education system, and bring gender into the 2030 Agenda“. Says Ola Abu, Director of Research and Global Influence at the Leonard Cheshire charity.


    Of the 3.84 million persons with disabilities in Spain, 481,000 are working. In relation to employment, persons with disabilities had a low participation in the jobs market in 2017, since according to INE data, their activity rate was 35%. Likewise, women with disabilities had a smaller presence in the labour market than men, a fact that shows the long journey that remains to inclusion and equality.


    The world outlook is not very different since the employment rate of men and women with disabilities is much lower than those without.


    Persons with disabilities in the 2030 Agenda


    In its commitment to “not leave anyone behind”, the UN’s 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development reflects the importance of inclusion and improvement in the conditions of persons with disabilities. The tenth objective of the 17 in the Agenda deals with the inclusion of persons with disabilities.


    As we have previously indicated, persons with disabilities have difficulties when accessing health services. In this context, the UN emphasises that these people are up to five times more likely to face health expenses that are described as “catastrophic”.


    Bridging The Gap


    It is very important that international cooperation becomes a fundamental tool that allows governments to give visibility to persons with disabilities by including them in their political agendas. In addition to these, both society and institutions must come together to translate the needs of these persons to give them a voice and improve their current situation in the best possible way.


    Ecuador, Paraguay, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia have benefited from this European Union-financed and FIIAPP-managed projectBridging The Gap. This project aims to reduce the social exclusion of persons with disabilities in low and middle income countries in Africa and Latin America.


    The situation in the countries where Bridging The Gap works is complicated. According to Boukary Savadogo, permanent secretary of the National Multisectoral Committee for the Protection and Promotion of Persons with Disabilities in Africa, “in Burkina Faso persons with disabilities are not welcome.” In order to improve the situation of persons with disabilities in the African country, “Burkina Faso is aligned with the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda”.


    It is important that we reflect and try together to improve the mechanisms so that persons with disabilities can have a dignified, full life in which they can enjoy each and every one of their fundamental rights.