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Women and young persons with disabilities: Guidelines for providing rights-based and gender-responsive services to address gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health and rights

HOLOBOFF RADFORD, Anastasia
et al
November 2018

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This publications aims to provide practical and concrete guidelines for making Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) services more inclusive of and accessible to women and young persons with disabilities and for targeting interventions to meet their disability-specific needs.
 
Critical services for all victims and survivors of GBV include health services (e.g. first-line support, sexual assault examination and care, mental health assessment and care), justice and policing services (e.g. assessment and investigation, perpetrator accountability and reparations, safety and protection, justice sector coordination), social services (e.g. crisis counselling; help lines; legal and rights information, advice, and representation; psychosocial support and counselling), and coordination at both the national and local level.

 

Fundamental SRHR services for women and young persons—with and without disabilities— include comprehensive sexuality education; information, goods, and services for the full range of modern contraceptive methods, including emergency contraception; maternal/newborn healthcare (including antenatal care, skilled attendance at delivery, emergency obstetric care, post-partum care, and newborn care); prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for sexual and reproductive health issues (e.g. sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, syphilis, and HPV, cancers of the reproductive system and breast cancer, and infertility); safe and accessible abortion, where it is not against the law; and post-abortion care to treat complications from unsafe abortion.

 

While the primary audience of these Guidelines is GBV and SRHR service providers and support staff, these Guidelines are also intended as a valuable resource for all stakeholders—including those in government, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations—involved in designing, developing, implementing, or advocating for GBV or SRHR services for women and young persons with disabilities. 

Global Disability Summit 2018 - Summary of commitments

August 2018

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The key objective of the Global Disability Summit was to deliver ambitious new global and national level commitments on disability inclusion. National governments and other organisations made 170 sets of commitments around the four central themes of the Summit (ensuring dignity and respect for all, inclusive education, routes to economic empowerment and harnessing technology and innovation), as well as the two cross-cutting themes (women and girls with disabilities and conflict and humanitarian contexts), and data disaggregation.

 

Commitments made can be viewed in full on: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/global-disability-summit-commitments

 

Young persons with disabilities: Global study on ending gender-based violence, and realising sexual and reproductive health and rights

McCLOSKEY, Megan
MEYERS, Stephen
July 2018

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This study provides an analysis on the situation of young persons with disabilities concerning discrimination and gender-based violence, including the impact on their sexual and reproductive health and rights. It also provides an assessment of legal, policy and programming developments and specific good practices in service delivery as well as best-standard prevention and protection measures. Finally, policy and programming recommendations are provided to assist in greater promotion of the rights of young persons with disabilities, with a particular emphasis on preventing and responding to gender-based violence, and realizing sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Invisible victims of sexual violence. Access to justice for women and girls with disabilities in India

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
April 2018

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This report is based on 17 cases of sexual violence against women and girls with disabilities in eight Indian states. It comes five years after The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 (the 2013 amendments) were adopted in India. It follows Human Rights Watch’s November 2017 report “Everyone Blames Me”: Barriers to Justice and Support Services for Sexual Assault Survivors in India, which found that rape survivors still face significant barriers obtaining justice and critical support services because legal and other reforms have not been fully realised.

This report finds that while the 2013 amendments have made significant progress in responding to the widespread challenges that victims of sexual violence endure, they have yet to properly develop and implement support for survivors with disabilities in the form of trainings and reforms throughout the criminal justice system. It highlights gaps in enforcement and calls for concrete measures to address the needs of women and girls with disabilities seeking justice for abuse. 

Guidance on disability inclusion for GBV (gender based violence) partners in Lebanon: outreach, safe identification, and referral of women, children and youth with disabilities

WOMEN'S REFUGEE COMMISSION
UNICEF LEBANON
February 2018

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This guidance, and the associated toolkit, are designed to support frontline workers, community volunteers, and mobilizers and their supervisors who are working in GBV prevention and response to foster inclusion of persons with disabilities in their community activities. It includes guidance, key actions and tools to improve accessibility of existing community processes and activities relating to GBV. This resource has been developed based on the findings of a needs assessment conducted in 2017 which confirmed that women, children and youth with disabilities in Lebanon and their caregivers are facing a range of GBV-related risks.

Let me decide and thrive - Global discrimination and exclusion of girls and young women with disabilities

PLAN INTERNATIONAL
December 2017

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Girls and young women with disabilities have the right to make decisions over their own bodies and live free from violence and fear. Yet, on a global level, they are the people least likely to enjoy their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Compelled by this reality, Plan International and the Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities have joined forces to ensure young women and girls with disabilities can exercise choice and have control over their bodies. The Let Me Decide and Thrive initiative is supported by in-depth, critical field and desk research and aims to empower girls and young women with disabilities, raise awareness of their plight among stakeholders, and work to secure their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

This research found that the barriers to SRHR confronted by girls and young women with disabilities are overwhelming: infantilisation and disempowerment; forced sterilisation, abortion, and contraception; disproportionate suffering from all forms of violence; substantial barriers in accessing justice; discriminatory attitudes, norms, and behaviours rendering them invisible; and a lack of accessible and appropriate SRHR information and services.

Making the SDGs count for women and girls with disabilities

UN WOMEN
July 2017

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"In line with several critical areas under thematic review at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in 2017, this brief underlines the need to mainstream disability into all efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment (SDG 5); highlights key issues for ending poverty (SDG 1) and ensuring healthy lives (SDG 3) for women and girls with disabilities; and calls for closing data gaps on gender and disability"

Still left behind: Pathways to inclusive education for girls with disabilities

ABU AL-GHAIB, Ola
ANDRAE, Karen
GONDWE, Rachel
LEONARD CHESHIRE DISABILITY
June 2017

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This progress review aims to: provide a synthesis of the understanding of the additional barriers that girls with disabilities face in education; highlight effective or promising approaches and programmes addressing these barriers, including policies and legislation; point to gaps in evidence; and provide recommendations on a way forward. An internet search of relevant grey and academic literature on gender-responsive inclusive education was carried out. A search of websites of (inter) national non-governmental organisations, donors, and research institutions on the subject of gender-responsive inclusive education was conducted. In addition, requests for information on gender-responsive inclusive education interventions were submitted to platforms such as the Pelican Initiative and the Gender and Development Network UK. Subsequent referral to contact persons was followed up via email and phone with requests for sharing of studies, evaluations, progress reports, and other relevant documents of interventions.

Support and guidance for the report provided by UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI)

Strengthening the role of women with disabilities in humanitarian action: A facilitator’s guide

Women's Refugee Commission
February 2017

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"Strengthening the Role of Women with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action: A Facilitator’s Guide" was designed by the Women’s Refugee Commission, in collaboration with organizations of women with disabilities in Africa and South Asia. It is a tool to support women leaders to provide training to members, colleagues and/or partners on humanitarian action. The training is intended to enhance the capacity of women with disabilities to effectively advocate on women’s and disability issues within relevant humanitarian forums at national and regional levels by:
- increasing understanding of the humanitarian system;
- helping participants identify gaps and opportunities for inclusion of women and girls with disabilities within the humanitarian system; and,
- developing advocacy plans to strengthen access and inclusion.

The Women’s Refugee Commission is deeply grateful to the women with disabilities who provided input and feedback after participating in the pilot training, as well as the Network of African Women with Disabilities, the African Disability Alliance, South Asia Disability Forum, and Special Talent Exchange Program in Pakistan, with which we have had an ongoing partnership in this wider project.

Virtual knowledge center to end violence against women and girls

UNITED NATIONS ENTITY FOR GENDER EQUALITY AND THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN
2017

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This Knowledge Centre is designed to serve the needs of policymakers, programme implementers and other practitioners dedicated to addressing violence against women and girls. It's primary purpose is to encourage and support evidence-based programming to more efficiently and effectively design, implement, monitor and evaluate initiatives to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls. To achieve this, the Global Virtual Knowledge Centre offers a ‘one stop’ service to users by making available the leading tools and evidence on what works to address violence against women and girls. It draws on expert recommendations, policy and programme evaluations and assessments, and fundamentally, on practitioners’ experiences from around the world

Global database on violence against women

UN WOMEN
2017

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"Violence against women and girls is one of the most systematic and widespread human rights violations. According to a 2013 global review of available data, 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. Eliminating such violence globally requires intensive efforts, which led world leaders to establish an online tool that increases opportunities to exchange experiences and strengthen knowledge to prevent and stop violence against women. The Global Database on Violence against Women provides easy access to comprehensive and up-to-date information on measures undertaken by United Nations Member States to address all forms of violence against women.

The Database is designed to:

  • Provide easy access to comprehensive and up-to-date information on measures undertaken by Governments to address all forms of violence against women;
  • Increase opportunities for exchange of experiences in addressing violence against women;
  • Strengthen the knowledge-base for effective policy responses to prevent and address violence against women; and
  • Encourage the further collection, availability, use and dissemination of data on violence against women, as well as analysis of such data"

Spotlight on Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls - UN WOMEN 2017

UN WOMEN
2017

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Spotlights are made on areas of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, and specific targets and indicators are given. The spotlights are on intimate partner violence, harmful practices (including child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM)), unpaid care and domestic work, women in leadership, sexual and reproductive health and the gender data gap. Data gaps are identified and a five year programme is outlined, Making Every Women and Girl Count, which is designed to provide technical and financial support to countries to improve the production and use of gender statistics in order to monitor the implementation of gender equality commitments in the 2030 Agenda.

AccountABILITY toolkit: a guide to using UN human rights mechanisms to advance the rights of women and girls with disabilities

PHILLIPS, Suzannah
et al
2017

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This toolkit seeks to empower women with disabilities and organizations working on their behalf to make use of the available U.N. human rights mechanisms to ensure that the human rights violations women with disabilities experience receive redress and to make sure that statements, recommendations, observations, and guidance from the U.N. incorporate an intersectional gender and disability rights perspective. 

Chapter 1 of this guide provides an introduction to the practice and procedures of the three main U.N. human rights mechanisms: treaty bodies, Special Procedures, and the Universal Periodic Review. 

Chapter 2 identifies the ways in which civil society can engage with the U.N. human rights system. This section provides an overview of when and how civil society can provide necessary information to the U.N. human rights bodies and the advantages and challenges of different types of engagement.

Chapter 3 provides guidance on developing advocacy strategies for successful U.N. engagement, looking in greater detail at the type of information that civil society should be providing to the U.N. This section also discusses collaboration with other organizations and strategies (including media strategies) for implementing U.N. standards at the national level

Advancing the access of deafblind women and girls to sexual and reproductive health

VISUAL HEARING IMPAIRMENT MEMBERSHIP ASSOCIATION (VIHEMA)
2017

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Activities to promote the access of deafblind women and girls to sexual and reproductive health are reported via brief descriptions of what happened, what changed and what worked. Activites included: training the deafblind women in their rights;training relatives of deafblind women, giving advice on general care, as well as highlighting the importance of supporting their sexual and reproductive health choices and promoting family planning; tackling the issue of the forced sterilization; awareness raising via newspapers and radio and improving livelihoods.

 

 

Human rights toolkit for women and girls with disabilities. First edition.

Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA)
October 2016

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A Toolkit for women or girls with disabilities to learn more about human rights and how this knowledge can be used to achieve change in their own lives or the lives of others. Following an introduction about why this Toolkit is needed,  a brief overview of five key human rights issues that women and girls with disability in Australia have identified as most important to them is provided. Section 3 provides information about what human rights are and also gives a brief overview about Australia’s international human rights obligations. Sections 4 and 5 focus on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), examining the main ‘Article’ from each, that deals with the important urgent issues that have been identified by women with disability in Australia, which are: Violence; Decision-Making; Participation; Sexual and Reproductive Rights; and, Employment. For each of these issues, the words of the main Article (as it appears in the CRPD and CEDAW) are provided and explained in practical terms, and examples are given of what governments have to know and do. Information from WWDA members and supporters about some of the key changes which need to happen is given. Different ideas of what women and girls with disability can do to help achieve change and promote the rights of all women and girls with disability are given and some sample letters and ‘talking points’ for phone calls to a local Member of Parliament, or a government Minister or advisers are provided.   

Impact area overview: the right to inclusive quality education

PLAN INTERNATIONAL
July 2016

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A review by Plan International of their work in the area of inclusive education is presented. Rights associated with inclusive education, education targets in SDGs and global education intitatives and trends are outlined. Issues associated with inclusive education implementation and what needs to be done are discussed. The experience, standards, priorities and strategies and advocacy of Plan International are reported.

Towards a disability inclusive education.

SAEBONES, Ann-Marit
BERMAN BIELER Rosangela
BABOO Nafisa
BANHAM Louise
SINGA Nidhi
HOWGEGO Catherine
VUYISWA MACCLAIN-NHLAP Charlotte
RI Trine Cecilie
et al
January 2016

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Background paper for the Oslo Summit on Education for Development July 7th, 2015. This paper covers the four topics of the Oslo Summit: investment in education, quality of learning, education in emergencies and girls’ education. The inclusion of children with disabilities is a moral issue as well as an economic and social issue: the costs of exclusion are significant for both for the individual and for society. Disability inclusion should be mainstreamed in all policies and plans. Accessibility standards should be implemented and supported by international development cooperation. Currently, 1/3 of the 58 million out of school children are children with disabilities. Planning and budgeting by national governments and development partners needs to include children with disabilities. There is an immediate need for inclusive reporting and monitoring, for applying disability specific education indicators as well as a need for systematic collection of disaggregated data on disability, age and gender. Keys to achieving quality disability inclusive education include: requiring minimum standards of accessibility for all schools, including in emergency settings; investment in teacher training; ensuring that learning materials/resources are available in accessible formats and are easily adaptable; investment in assistive technology and devices; ensuring participation of Disabled People’s Organisations in education planning and monitoring.

Gender and disability : a way forward to overcoming multiple discrimination

HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL
2015

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This advocacy briefing paper presents key information about the inclusion of disability in gender policies and programs. It highlights key facts and issues such as women and girls with disabilities facing multiple discrimination, gaps in political and program responses and legal policy and frameworks. It outlines practical steps can be taken by development actors at different levels and suggests ways to measure progress

 

Advocacy briefing paper

Triple jeopardy : tackling the discrimination facing girls and women with leprosy

GRIFFEY, Harriet
Eds
March 2015

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This report examines the triple discrimination situation faced by women and girls with leprosy in developing countries, because of their gender, the disabilities that can result from the disease and the impact of its stigma. Studies also show that in some countries they are less likely than men to be diagnosed early, and so are at greater risk of developing a lifelong disability. This report shows what can be done to achieve access to treatment and a better outcome for girls and women affected by leprosy

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