This article explores COVID-19 related experiences of disabled people in Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, Nepal and Uganda. Narrative interviews generated storied responses, focussing on respondents' priorities, which enabled us to hear what was most significant for them and their families. 143 interviews were conducted online or by phone by 7 local researchers (3 disabled), with appropriate inclusive support. Nearly everyone was interviewed twice to capture the progression of impacts over time. The data was analysed thematically through a virtual participatory approach. An overarching 'subjective' theme of feelings experienced by the participants was labelled 'destabilisation, disorientation and uncertainty'. We also identified 'concrete' or material impacts. People experienced various dilemmas such as choosing between securing food and keeping safe, and tensions between receiving support and feeling increased vulnerability or dependence, with interplay between the emotions of fear, loss and hope. We found both the concept of liminality and grief models productive in understanding the progression of participants' experiences. Disabled people reported the same feelings, difficulties and impacts as others, reported in other literature, but often their pre-existing disadvantages have been exacerbated by the pandemic, including poverty, gender and impairment related stresses and discrimination, inaccessible services or relief, and exclusion from government initiatives.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities and barriers to social inclusion for people with disabilities. These experiences of social exclusion have been feltto an even greater extent by women with disabilities and under-represented groups of people with disabilities, leading to a range of effects on the operations and priorities of OPDs. To address a critical gap in the evidence base, the Disability Inclusion Helpdesk carried out a rapid assessment of the role of OPDs during the pandemic, and how the pandemic has affected OPDs’ operations and priorities.
The manual Reclaiming SRHR of Women and Girls with Disabilities was developed as part of ARROW’s initiative, ‘Defending SRHR of Women and Girls with Disabilities’ with inputs and insights incorporated from regional experts from multiple disciplines whose contributions enriched the content of the manual. The manual aims to equip women and girls with disabilities with necessary SRHR information and knowledge to make informed choices free from coercion, violence, discrimination, and abuse. The Manual, therefore, contains detailed Modules on gender, sexuality, disability, rights, and their interlinkages in the context of addressing sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls with disabilities. Through this, it seeks to provide accessible information and knowledge on SRHR to women and girls with disabilities in various contexts, including in the face of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
A Training of Trainers (ToT) manual on disability rights, gender and SRHR.
The purpose of this document is to provide a user-friendly guide for women with disabilities across the globe to understand their rights in accessing support when experiencing gender-based violence and to enable them to advocate with States for their rights.
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.
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
Findings from this report show evidence that some persons with disabilities face multiple types of jeopardy during Covid-19: they are at an increased risk of violence and are suffering a dramatic loss in household earnings. They are also taking action: many plan to adapt their livelihood and are mobilising resources for their communities. Persons with disabilities ask government and NGOs to do more and to be more inclusive in their response to the crisis.
● Three of four respondents report increased risk of violence since the pandemic began. 77% of women and 80% of men report an increase in economic, physical, psychological and/or sexual violence after Covid-19.
● One in three women respondents report experiencing an increased risk of physical and/or sexual violence.
● Livelihood support could reduce violence risk. Three in four (76%) of respondents say livelihood support, such as start up capital for small business, would be very or extremely useful to them in order to reduce their risk of experiencing violence during Covid-19.
● Respondents report losing 64% of their monthly household income since the outbreak. After adjusting for purchase power parity, this is the equivalent of falling from 181 GBP to 65 GBP per month.
● Covid-19 support is unequal and insufficient for many. Where support has been distributed, one in two report that they do not receive the same protection support (ie PPE) as others; one in four report that they do not receive the same Covid-19 survival support (ie food); one in three report they do not receive the same Covid-19 information; and one in three say that support does not meet need.
● Most respondents will try something new. 59% indicate that they will start something new to make ends meet if the situation continues.
● OPDs are obtaining food support through lobbying, providing vital psychosocial support and information.
● Some OPDs are not able to respond because they are capacity-constrained.
● Government and NGOs can do more.
From these interviews and findings, some recommendations emerge for government and NGOs:
● Support livelihood to reduce violence risk and increase survival strategies.
● Increase access to capital.
● Meaningfully engage persons with disabilities and their respective organisations in response planning and implementation.
● Ensure distribution of support reaches persons with disabilities, more specifically the underrepresented groups.
● Change attitudes toward and increase knowledge about persons with disabilities.
This report presents findings from telephone interviews with 87 members from Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) partners and 10 DPO/Self-Help Group (SHG) leaders from organisations with 1,998 members in 10 districts across 7 provinces of Cambodia, to ask about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on persons with disabilities.
Three patterns emerge from these interviews: there is a pattern of compounding vulnerability to violence; a pattern of significant livelihood loss that is felt differently by disability type and gender; and a link between livelihood loss and pronounced increase in economic and psychological violence against women and girls with disabilities.
Evidence from these interviews suggests that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, some women with disabilities are at increased risk of violence and suffering a dramatic loss in household earnings. Reported violence risk increase is mostly psychological and economic, higher among older respondents and most pronounced among those who already experienced medium to high risk of violence before COVID-19.
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
Background: In low-income and middle-income countries women and girls with disabilities are more likely to experience violence than those without disabilities. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) can help to address this. However, in countries like Botswana we know little about the preparedness of NGOs and DPOs to increase inclusion in and access to programmes addressing violence.
Objectives: To explore the capacity and preparedness of NGOs and DPOs to ensure that women and girls with disabilities can participate in and access programmes addressing violence.
Methods: A qualitative study was undertaken using interviews with 17 NGOs and DPOs in Botswana to understand the organisations’ level of and ability to deliver programmes addressing violence against women and girls.
Results: Both NGOs and DPOs lack elements of universal design and reasonable accommodation, and thus are inaccessible to some people with disabilities. Some programmes address violence against women but lack skills and resources to accommodate people with disabilities. In contrast, DPOs work with people with disabilities, but lack focus on violence against women with disabilities. Participants identified opportunities to fill these gaps, including adaptation of policies and structural changes, training, approaches to mainstream disability across programmes, development of disability-specific interventions and improved networking.
Conclusions: Botswana’s NGOs and DPOs are well positioned to address violence against women and girls with disabilities, but need to increase their accessibility, staff knowledge and skills and disability inclusion. Training, resource allocation and participation of women with disabilities in NGOs and DPOs is needed to drive this change.
African Journal of Disability, Vol 9, 2020
In 2020 the Disability Royal Commission released an issues paper on group homes. The issues paper asked 10 questions based on some of the key issues and barriers experienced by people with disability living in Group Homes.
This is Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) response to the issues paper which highlights key recommendations to improve the lives and experiences of people with disability living in group homes. The recommendations stem from the following key areas:
- Living independently and being in the community
- Ableism, segregation and violence
- Exposing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation
People with disabilities in Mexico can face severe abuse and neglect by their families with little protection or support from the government. This report documents how the lack of policies to support independent living can increase the risk of family violence and abuse for people with disabilities. It also documents the barriers people with disabilities face in accessing protection from abuse and justice on an equal basis with others, and documents serious concerns regarding implementation of procedural accommodations to ensure that people with disabilities can participate fully and equally in the justice system.
Based on research in 2018 and 2019, this report documents violence committed by family members against people with disabilities in four Mexican states: Oaxaca, Jalisco, Nuevo León, and Mexico City. Interviews were carried out with 24 women and 14 men with disabilities.
This situational analysis (SITAN) addresses the question: “what is the current situation for persons with disabilities in Tanzania?”. It has been prepared for the Disability Inclusive Development programme (which works on access to education, jobs, healthcare, and reduced stigma and discrimination for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, and Tanzania), to better understand the current context, including COVID-19, and available evidence in Tanzania. It will be helpful for anyone interested in disability inclusion in Tanzania, especially in relation to stigma, employment, education, health, and humanitarian issues. This SITAN has been briefly updated from the April 2019 SITAN.
This ‘tips sheet’ provides an insight to Gender-based violence (GBV) practitioners, on the risks and barriers that persons with disabilities, in particular women and girls may face during response for COVID 19, and practical action for gender-based violence (GBV) practitioners to integrate attention to disability into GBV prevention, risk mitigation and response efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. This note draws on the IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, applying these to the COVID-19 pandemic, response and practical tips from experience of HI and collaborating partners in South Sudan
This report is based on the results of a global survey conducted in March and April 2020, targeted at the personal experiences of women, girls, non-binary, trans, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities and COVID-19. This survey, which was intended to be primarily qualitative, asked respondents to provide narrative information about the following topics: access to health services, including sexual and reproductive health services; rationing of healthcare; personal safety and violence; access to support services to meet daily living needs; and access to education, employment, and other income. The results are based on 100 respondents. Recommendations are given.
This tipsheet identifies key, sector-specific GBV risks that are believed likely to occur and/or be exacerbated during the Covid-19 response, along with recommendations on how to mitigate these risks
Everyday barriers that Afghan women and girls with disabilities face are described. Decades of conflict have decimated government institutions and development efforts have failed to reach many communities most in need. Obtaining access to health care, education, and employment, along with other basic rights, is particularly difficult for Afghan women and girls with disabilities, who face both gender discrimination and stigma and barriers associated with their disability.
This report is based primarily on research by Human Rights Watch researchers from April 2018 through January 2020 in Kabul, Mazar-e Sharif, and Herat, Afghanistan. 23 interviews with women with disabilities and 3 interviews with family members of women and girls with disabilities were conducted. 14 healthcare and education professionals were interviewed, including representatives from the United Nations and international and local nongovernmental organizations providing services to persons with disabilities in Afghanistan
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
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.
This report is a study into the intersection of gender, violence and disabilities, with a focus on the role of disabilities in increasing the risk of sexual and gender-based violence and domestic violence perpetrated against women with disabilities and women parenting children with disabilities in Dushanbe, Bokhtar and Khorog (Tajikistan). The study targeted women and men between the ages of 18-65 living with disabilities or parenting children with disabilities. Field data were collected through 12 focus group discussions (four in each location) divided by age and gender, with men and women living with disabilities or parenting children with disabilities. 30 repeat in-depth interviews were conducted with women and men with disabilities among different age groups, as well as women with children with disabilities.
Source e-bulletin on Disability and Inclusion