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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.

UNICEF 2016-2030 Strategy for Health “at a glance”

UNICEF
2016

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This provides an overview of UNICEF’s 2016-2030 Strategy for Health which "aims to: end preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths; and promote the health and development of all children. With the first goal, UNICEF commits to maintaining focus on the critical unmet needs related to maternal, newborn and under-5 survival. With the second, UNICEF highlights the importance of also looking beyond survival and addressing the health and development needs of older children and adolescents. The Strategy emphasises the importance of prioritising the needs of the most deprived children and promotes multi-sectoral approaches to enhance child development and address underlying causes and determinants of poor health outcomes. It aims to shift UNICEF from vertical disease programmes to strengthening health systems and building resilience, including calling for better integration of humanitarian and development efforts by encouraging risk-informed programming in all contexts"

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