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Fashion show in Ivory Coast features disabled models

A woman walks down the catwalk during a fashion show of the Mougnan foundation (a NGO improving the living conditions and empowering young women with disabilities)   -  
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SIA KAMBOU/AFP or licensors

Ivory Coast

To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a fashion show was held in the Ivory Coast's city of Abidjan on Friday (3 DECEMBER 2021), to celebrate the beauty and resilience of people with disabilities.

The show, entitled "Fortes au Pluriel" (Strong in numbers) was put together by the Mougnan Foundation, an organization that works to improve the quality of life for disabled women in the Ivory Coast.

Ange Grace Beho, who lost her right arm in a traffic accident, started the Mougnan Foundation earlier this year.

"I had a traffic accident and I found myself with this disability. Afterward, I noticed that there were no young women with disabilities in the field. They were more men and women of a certain age" says Beho.

"So I brought my sisters together, to create a foundation, which will really help them without having to wait for state aid, so that they can be independent and take charge of themselves."

About twenty women, including wheelchair users and amputees, took to the catwalk sporting looks from local designers.

Around the world, people with disabilities face greater challenges and stigma than non-disabled people. They are less likely to access health care, education, employment and to participate in their communities. Advocates say that disability inclusion is a crucial condition to uphold human rights, and to ensure that people with disabilities are not left behind.

According to the UN, of the 1 billion population of persons with disabilities, 80% live in developing countries.

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