This briefing draws on the real-life stories of persons with disabilities and older people in Bangladesh, as told to researchers in the Voices of the Marginalised project entitled ‘We can also make change’.
The stories tell of the experiences of older people and persons with disabilities in one country, at one moment in time, providing valuable testimony of the considerable equality and poverty challenges they face – in particular in securing livelihoods; accessing public services; living free of discrimination, bullying, harassment and violence; and accessing justice.
However, it is widely – if perhaps not as vividly – documented elsewhere that persons with disabilities and older people experience similar challenges throughout the developing world. Much remains to be done to promote and achieve their full participation in political, economic, social and cultural life.
If there is one message only from the stories heard in this research, it is of the vital importance of the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities and older people in developing and negotiating the post-2015 development agenda . Their experiences are what count in working towards a rights-based framework for all and a more positive future for persons with disabilities and older people in particular.
Based on the experiences as organisations working for the rights of persons with disabilities and older people, the report draws up specific recommendations for policymakers.