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COVID-19, gender, and disability checklist: Preventing and addressing gender-based violence against women, girls, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic

UN WOMEN
WOMEN ENABLED INTERNATIONAL
June 2021

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This checklist is intended to guide a wide range of States, gender-based violence (GBV) support service providers, and other stakeholders, as well as United Nations Country Teams, providing guidance on pandemic response and recovery efforts on how to prevent and respond to GBV against women, girls, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergencies.

It is also a tool to guide recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure that rights at the intersection of gender and disability are respected, protected, and fulfilled as part of that recovery.

How do we support women and girls with disabilities to overcome stigma against them? - Evidence brief

MACTAGGART, Islay
FELIX, Lambert
May 2021

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Stigma refers to the labelling of an individual or group of people in a way that ultimately denies them full social acceptance and equality of opportunity, and is often the root cause of discrimination and exclusion experienced by people with disabilities. The negative implications of stigma are far-reaching and profound, including limiting opportunities for accessing health care, education or livelihoods; affecting quality of life  and wellbeing, and increasing the risk of violence and abuse. Stigma is intersectional, meaning that women and girls with disabilities often experience several layers of discrimination, on account of both their disability and their gender. Reducing stigma experienced by women and girls with disabilities is therefore critical to supporting their full inclusion in society on an equal basis as others.

 

Evidence was reviewed and recomendations are provided.

Leave no girl with disabilities behind: Ensuring efforts to advance gender equality in education are disability-inclusive.

DIAMOND, Gloria
CASTRES, Pauline
April 2021

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This advocacy brief from the UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) and Leonard Cheshire draws attention to the main barriers to education for girls with disabilities, in the context of major opportunities for advocacy and tangible change in 2021.  The recommendations outlined are targeted at world leaders, governments, ministries, UN agencies and NGOs. They offer a framework for rights-based action and principles towards gender-responsive and inclusive education, to ensure that no girls with disabilities are left behind. 

Inclusive information systems for social protection: Intentionally integrating gender and disability

BARCA, Valentina
HEBBAR, Madhumitha
COTE, Alexandre
SCHOEMAKER, Emrys
ENFIELD, Susan
HOLMES, Rebecca
WYLDE, Emily
March 2021

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Digital information systems serving the social protection sector, and especially social assistance, are increasingly prominent and will continue to be, as is the case within all other sectors. “Why? Because the ability of a country to care for its people and respond to their lifecycle needs depends on its ability to identify those who are in need, enroll them, provide tailored benefits and services, and follow up to cater to evolving circumstances”. Governments also need to be able to monitor programme implementation and impact, feeding into longer-term decisions on design and resource allocation. “All of these actions require accessible, dynamic and real-time data and information exchange if the goal of universal coverage is to be achieved” (Chirchir and Barca, 2019).

The coverage (% of the population included in the information system), relevance (amount/type of data they store), and accessibility (e.g. level of interoperability/data sharing across the government data ecosystem) of these administrative data systems has also been increasing in many countries – posing important opportunities and challenges to policy-makers. The question is how to develop these systems in a way that is inclusive and right-based, leveraging technology “to ensure a higher standard of living for the vulnerable and disadvantaged” (Alston, 2019) rather than becoming a further barrier to inclusion. To illustrate the point this paper specifically focuses on gender and disability inclusion, while acknowledging similar considerations apply to all other forms of (intersectional) exclusion.

Engaging girls and women with disabilities in the global South: Beyond cultural and geopolitical generalizations

NGUYEN, Xuan Thuy
STIENSTRA, Deborah
2021

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This article invites readers to engage with girls and women with disabilities in the global South. It challenges the epistemological domination of Western disability studies in Southern bodies and contexts, and provides one specific way to read the intersection between disability, gender, and ethnicity in the context of Vietnam. Drawing on the politics of engagement developed within the Transforming Disability Knowledge, Research, and Activism project, we argue for recognizing the lingering impacts of colonialism and imperialism in producing disability and impairment in the South, while suggesting new ways of engaging with disabled girls and women through the use of inclusive, decolonial, and participatory methods.

Life Becomes Harder: Intersectional Feminist Lens to Dis/abled Experience of Women in Afghanistan during Covid 19 Pandemic and Post Covid Development Context

SHAJAHAN, Sharin
2021

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More than 40 years of war, ethnic conflict, violence and poverty have made Afghanistan a country where at least one in five live with a serious physical, sensory, intellectual, or psychosocial disability. Women with disabilities in Afghanistan are considered to be ‘doubly stigmatized’ due to gender inequality and disability stigmatization, and are often hidden from the social and political aspects of life. Although in the post-Taliban era, development interventions backed by international aid have been designed to include women with disabilities, their intersectionalities cutting across class, ethnicity, region, different types of impairments and other positionalities have not been explored to address different needs, barriers and inequalities across various regions. In this context, the Covid 19 crisis has made the lives of Afghan women with disabilities harder due to gender discrimination, stigma and shame, unemployment, lack of mobility, lack of awareness, and insufficient institutional support and infrastructure coupled with widespread feelings of insecurity resulting from conflict and terrorist attacks. Based on both primary and secondary data, this paper will shed a feminist intersectional insight into the plight of women with dis/abled experience during the Covid 19 pandemic in the complex political and social terrain of Afghanistan. The paper will also explore visions for designing interventions aimed at integrating women with disabilities in post Covid development plans.

Education, girl, disability: an equation to solve. Ensuring the right to education for girls with disabilities in the Sahel

HUMANITY & INCLUSION (HI)
January 2021

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Most girls with disabilities do not have the opportunity to access education and to thrive in school. They are exposed to multiple  discrimination owing to their identity as girls and as children with disabilities. Comprehensive measures are needed to ensure their right to inclusive and quality education.

The factsheet builds on the findings of a research conducted by Humanity & Inclusion in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger and conveys messages and recommendations aiming to inspire action and thus improve educational opportunities for girls with disabilities.

Key recommendations so that girls with disabilities are not left behind are made to governments, donors and civil society organisations

Disclosure of Disease among Women affected by Leprosy: A Qualitative Study

Ramasamy, Senthilkumar
Govindharaj, Pitchaimani
Kumar, Archana
Panneerselvam, Suganya
2020

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Purpose: Although leprosy is completely curable with multidrug therapy, it is unfortunate that the stigma attached to leprosy persists even today. Fear of social exclusion prevents disclosure of the disease to the family and community. This study aimed to evaluate the extent of disclosure of disease among women affected by leprosy in a tertiary referral hospital in Chhattisgarh State, India.

 

Method: A qualitative study was conducted with 57 women affected by leprosy who reported at a tertiary referral hospital in Champa, Chhattisgarh State. The respondents were 18 years of age or older, and had completed multidrug therapy for leprosy. They were asked whether the disclosure of disease had affected their interactions with family, neighbours and community members.

 

Results: Of the 57 women, 48 (84%) had disclosed their disease to their family, 17 (30%) to their neighbours and 13 (23%) to the community members. Thirty women (53%) reported that they experienced problems after revealing the ailment to their family, friends and neighbours. The qualitative analysis found that negative behaviour towards people affected by leprosy still persists in the community. Consequently, women affected by leprosy try to hide their disease due to fear of negative community reactions.

 

Conclusion: This study emphasises the need to spread awareness about the disease and its transmission, by educating the people affected by leprosy, their families and the community. This should be a continuous process in order to reduce or remove the stigma and discrimination against women affected by leprosy, in particular.

Activity Limitation of People Affected by Leprosy in an Endemic District in West Bengal, India

Govindharaj, Pitchaimani
Srinivasan, Sampathkumar
Darlong, Joydeepa
2020

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Purpose: This study aimed to assess the level of activity limitation, and the factors associated with it, among people affected by leprosy who were reporting at a leprosy referral centre of Purulia, in West Bengal state, India.

 

Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 358 individuals affected by leprosy. Persons recruited for this study were above 18 years of age, married, and had been diagnosed with leprosy for at least 1 year at the time of the interview. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to gather information about the respondents’ socio-economic and disease status. The Screening of Activity Limitation and Safety Awareness (SALSA) Scale was used to measure activity limitation.

 

Results: Of the 358 respondents, 59% were male, 60% were between 18 and 45 years of age, and 42% were illiterate. About 144 or 40% of the respondents had Grade 2 disability and 60% had disease duration of more than 3 years. There were 229 individuals (64%) who had no limitation in activities, 103 (29%) had mild limitation and 26 (7%) had moderate to severe limitation in activities. There is a significant association between gender, age, occupation, physical disability and disease duration with activity limitation.

 

Conclusion: It appears that limitations in activities among persons affected by leprosy are associated with being a woman, ahousewife, an aged person, and with longer disease duration. The physical disability was intrinsically associated with limitation in activities.

Physical Activity of the Community- Dwelling Elderly Population in Gujarat, India: A Cross-Sectional Study

Patel, Samira Sirajulhak
Gupta, Nalina
Parmar, Lata
2020

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Purpose: While ageing is an inevitable phenomenon of life, physical activity is important for healthy ageing. Compared to the other age groups, older adults throughout the world have the lowest rate of participation in recommended levels of physical activity. This study aimed to investigate the physical activity status of the community-dwelling elderly population in Gujarat, India.

 

Method: This was a cross-sectional study. A door-to-door survey was conducted among selected communities near Vadodara in Gujarat. Based on the inclusion criteria (age≥60years, MMSE-≥24), 347 elderly persons were included in the study. Data was collected using the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ), and analysed using descriptive statistics.

 

Results: Among the 347 older adults (mean age 67.43±7.46 years) who participated in the study, 159 were male and 188 were female. While 125 participants (36%) were physically active at levels recommended by the World Health Organisation, 222(64%) were physically inactive.

 

Conclusion: Only 36% of the participants were physically active as per WHO recommendations. The men were more physically active than the women in the study sample. This study implies that there is a need to create an awareness regarding the importance of physical activity for healthy aging.

Towards more inclusive practices: A Disability, Gender and Age Intersectional Resource

BRIGDEN, Stephanie
AHLUWALIA, Kanwal
2020

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This Disability, Gender and Age Resource aims to support staff to better understand intersectionality. An intersectional approach reminds us of the need to look deeper at the way multiple individual characteristics and societal factors intersect to compound discrimination in any given context. This resouce is split into w main sections:

 

In Section A, we introduce the concept of intersectionality, its use as a lens to understand vulnerability and the relevance of ‘context’. Section A also introduces a few critical concepts: the fact that disability, gender and age are all social constructs, the centrality of power and the need to transform unequal power relations.

 

In Section B, we provide some guidance on inclusion and bias; the need to consider the wider environment; how to work with social norms; how to understand power differently; and empowerment and participation processes.

Action on COVID-19 Evidence on the Response of Disabled People’s Organisations during Pandemic

ADD International
October 2020

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In June 2020, ADD International conducted structured interviews with leaders from ten Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) which are participating in the Inclusion Works programme in three districts in Bangladesh to understand impact of and response to Covid-19 among DPOs.

 

Evidence from these interviews suggest that the economic impact of Covid-19 on persons with disabilities has been acute, and DPOs are taking critical action. DPOs are engaging with power holders to make relief, livelihood support and information accessible to persons with disabilities. DPOs are in touch with their members, but they face barriers in doing their work during this time, and more could be done to reach the most excluded.

Disability considerations in GBV programming during the COVID-19 pandemic

PEARCE, Emma
September 2020

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Information and practical guidance to support gender-based violence (GBV) practitioners to integrate attention to disability into GBV prevention, risk mitigation and response efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic are given. Initial guidance published in April 2020 updated in Sep 2020

 

GBV AoR HELPDESK Research Query 

Breaking down the barriers for people with disabilities through innovation in Africa

GSMA
September 2020

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During this interactive session, hosted by GSMA’s Assistive Tech team, we shared insights on the mobile disability gap, including findings from our gender and disability research, and lessons learnt from the innovation landscape. We also heard from several leading assistive tech innovators supporting the digital inclusion of people with disabilities, both visible or unseen across emerging markets

Fiji Gender, disability and inclusion analysis: COVID-19 and TC Harold, June 2020

COWLEY, Anna
June 2020

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While Fiji only had 18 cases of COVID-19, all of whom have recovered, the economic and social outcomes are significant and will be felt for years to come. The closure of international borders led to visitor arrivals contracting significantly by 43.5 percent up to April and the economy is projected to decline by 4.9% in 2020 under COVID-19. The impacts will extend to government revenue, which is expected to decrease by almost 50% in the next financial year.

In addition to the pandemic, Fiji was also struck by Severe Tropical Cyclone Harold on 08 April, causing States of Natural Disaster to be declared for COVID-19 and for TC Harold within the same week. Although Fiji is used to cyclones, prevention and movement restriction measures in place for COVID-19 made it difficult to respond to the trail of destruction left by the Category 4 cyclone. A total of 250 evacuation centers were opened in all four divisions and around 10,000 people were displaced.

The objectives of the Gender, Disability and Inclusion Analysis are:

- To analyse and understand the different impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic and TC Harold potentially have on women, men, girls and boys, people with disabilities and people of diverse SOGIESC and other marginalised groups in Fiji;

- To inform humanitarian programming in Fiji based on the different needs of women, men, boys and girls, people with disabilities and people of diverse SOGIESC with a particular focus on Gender Based Violence (GBV), Health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Education in Emergencies, Food Security and Livelihoods, and Coping Strategies; and

- To provide recommendations for organisations responding to COVID-19 and TC Harold.

The impact of an inclusive education intervention on learning outcomes for girls with disabilities within a resource-poor setting

CAREW, Mark
DELUCA, Marcella
GROCE, Nora
FWAGA, Sammy
KETT, Maria
May 2020

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Background: Despite a global commitment to the right to education for persons with disabilities, little is known about how to achieve inclusive education in practice, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where the majority of the world’s people with disabilities reside. Moreover, although exclusion from education is magnified by intersecting gender and socioeconomic inequalities, there is especially little knowledge regarding what approaches to inclusive education are effective amongst girls with disabilities living in resource-poor settings.

 

Objectives: The objective of this article was to assess the impact of an inclusive education intervention led by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) on the educational attainment of girls with disabilities in the resource-poor Lakes region of Kenya.

 

Method: A quasi-experimental design was employed, where the literacy and numeracy educational attainment of the intervention and control groups was compared over two time points a year apart (Time 1 and Time 2; total matched N = 353). During this period, activities pertaining to six core components of a holistic inclusive education model were implemented.

 

Results: Relative to the control group, girls with disabilities in the intervention group reported a greater increase in literacy and numeracy attainment, adjusted for grade and level of functional difficulty.

 

Conclusion: Findings suggest that the intervention was successful in engendering additional improvements in the educational attainment of girls with disabilities from the resource-poor Lakes region of Kenya. Results highlight both the applicability of NGO-led interventions in settings, where national implementation of inclusive education is constrained, and the potential of taking such interventions to scale.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020

Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Report No: 38 : Disability and Child Marriage

MEANEY-DAVIS, Jessie
LEE, Harri
ANDRAE, Karen
May 2020

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Summaries on the findings from the following queries:

Is there evidence that suggests children with disabilities are more/less vulnerable to child marriage than children without disabilities? If yes, what are the driving factors for this?

What are some of the evidence-based interventions we could think about to ensure that children with disabilities affected by child marriage are not left behind? How can we better mainstream disability inclusion in the programme? 

Recording of the Virtual Event: COVID-19 Crisis and Promoting Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities

IDA
April 2020

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Recording of the Virtual Event: COVID-19 & Promoting the Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities

On April 8, 2020, IDA in collaboration with the EDF held the Virtual Event: COVID-19 crisis and Promoting Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities. The virtual event with 572 registered participants was an effort to provide space and prevent any loss of momentum in promoting the rights of women and girls with disabilities in the global gender equality agenda. 

During the webinar, the panelists have discussed various topics ranging from the inclusion of women and girls with disabilities into mainstream gender mainstreaming strategies, multiple forms of discrimination faced by women and girls with various forms of disability, and the impact of the current pandemic on their well-being.

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