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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

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.

COVID-19 and Humanitarian Crisis

2020

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A COVID-19 Humanitarian platform to gather, curate, analyze, interpret and disseminate COVID-19-specific and -sensitive interventions that are being implemented in a variety of humanitarian settings.

The goal is to facilitate the sharing of context-specific field experiences about how humanitarian programs are responding to and being adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic. This website will host both technical guidelines as well as operational field experiences from humanitarian actors in different settings.

Disability Royal Commission: WWDA’s response to education and learning issues paper

SANDS, Therese
April 2020

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In 2019 the Disability Royal Commission released an issues paper on education and learning. The issues paper asked 13 questions based on some of the key issues and barriers experienced by students with disability.

Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) have now submitted their response to the issues paper which highlights key recommendations to improve the lives and experiences of students with disability. The recommendations stem from the following key areas:

  • Inclusive education
  • Intersectionality
  • Inequality and discrimination underpin violence
  • Restrictive practices – torture and ill-treatment
  • Exposing violence – desegregated data and intersectionality
  • Building strengths through inclusive education

COVID-19: How to include marginalized and vulnerable people in risk communication and community engagement

UN WOMEN
TRANSLATORS WITHOUT BORDERS
March 2020

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Recommendations for inclusion of marginalised and vulnerable groups in risk communications and community engangement are made. Groups considered are: children; people with disabilities; women and girls; pregnant women; persons living with HIV; gender based violence survivors; refugees and migrants; elderly; people in existing humanitarian emergencies; people with pre-existing medical conditions; sexual and gender minorities; ethnic minorities.

Age, gender and diversity considerations – COVID-19

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
March 2020

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This guidance on Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD) Considerations in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic is intended as a quick reference tool to support colleagues in the field who are working directly with populations of concern and/or engaged in protection advocacy. It has been developed in response to requests for further guidance on how the evolving COVID-19 pandemic may disproportionally impact specific AGD groups

COVID-19: Incluisve programming – Ensuring assistance and protection addresses the needs of marginalised and at-risk people

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC)
March 2020

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This paper brings together guidance and messages from the ICRC’s Operations Diversity Inclusion, Sexual Violence and Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse teams, in collaboration with the Global Adviser on Children. Its purpose is to support the ICRC’s delegations and métiers in their response to COVID-19. The guidance focuses on the initial phases of the response, including contingency planning, adapting and possibly scaling back current activities and strengthening and establishing new activities and partnerships to respond to the virus in the humanitarian contexts in which it works

Disability and gender analysis toolkit

THOMSON, Teresa
et al
March 2020

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CBM’s Disability and Gender Analysis Toolkit has been developed to support staff, partners and allies in strengthening capacity to address systemic and deeply entrenched discriminatory practices and specifically to meet their Programme Quality Standards. It provides practical tools for stronger disability and gender analysis to inform planning, practice and systems. The toolkit provides practical assessment templates and guidance for individuals, organisations and programmes to identify strengths and gaps and to develop focussed action plans to improve practice.

Annotated bibliography: Disability and gender in low- and middle income countries (LMICs)

ROHWERDER, Brigitte
March 2020

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This annotated bibliography provides an overview and outlines key messages from a selected range of academic and practioner literature looking at gender and disability in low- and middle-income countries, which may help with planning for gender inclusion in programmes and projects. The papers included here are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all the relevant literature. A focus is placed literature looking at the main areas of work of the Disability Inclusive Development programme: stigma, livelihoods (which also applies to the Inclusion Works programme), education, and health, as well as humanitarian contexts. Literature which focuses solely on one of these areas has been included in the relevant sections, and those which address multiple areas are included in the first, overarching section on gender and disability. As is often the case, the literature on gender and disability in low- and middle-income countries has a tendency to focus mainly on the experiences of women and girls with disabilities. There is a lack of evidence relating to gender and disability in low- and middle-income countries, although more evidence is emerging as awareness of the importance of the issue grows.

 

People with disabilities face exclusion and discrimination on the grounds of both their gender and their disability, as well as other intersecting factors such as age, race, class or poverty. The intersectional nature of discrimination and inequality impacts all areas of life, from access to services, personal security, livelihoods and leisure, through to individual choice and autonomy. Women and girls with disabilities are more likely to face discrimination and exclusion than people without disabilities and compared with men and boys with disabilities. Their participation in education, livelihoods, and healthcare is challenges by barriers including stigma and cultural practices resulting in discrimination and prejudice, lack of accessible services, and lack of support from family, teachers and institutions - all of which are exacerbated by poverty. Women with disabilities are also at greater risk of physical, mental and sexual abuse and because of stigmatisation, have lower marriage prospects. Therefore, it is important to ensure the meaningful inclusion of women and men with disabilities in programming.

 

The annotated bibliography is broken down into;

1. Gender and disability in LMICs

2. Gender, disability, stigma, and violence

3. Gender, disability, employment and livelihoods

4. Gender, disability, and education

5. Gender, disability, and health

6. Gender, disability, and humanitarian response

7. Report information

 

The Inclusion Works programme (2018–2022), funded by the UK Department for International Development, aims to improve employment rates for people with disabilities in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda. 

 

Disability Inclusive Development (DID), also funded by the UK Department for International Development, aims to improve the long-term well-being and inclusion of people with disabilities through increased equitable access to: Quality health services and health outcomes, Quality education and educational attainment, Jobs/self- employment and improved livelihoods and a reduction in negative stereotyping and discrimination in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Jordan and Nepal.

 

The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the UK government or members of the Inclusion Works consortium.

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