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COVID-19 from the margins: Gendered-Disability experiences in Sri Lanka

KANDASAMY, Niro
PERERA, Binendri
SOLDATIC, Karen
2021

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Recent research in the global South has highlighted that persons with disabilities are a vulnerable category of persons during the COVID19 outbreak. This paper provides some preliminary insights into Sri Lankan government responses to the outbreak, which, as we will be highlighting, take an ableist approach that further neglect the interests of persons with disabilities while entrenching disability dependencies on informal structures of familial and household support and in turn, increasing their marginality and economic insecurity. The COVID-19 outbreak hit Sri Lanka during a period of political turmoil – national Parliament had been dissolved on 3 March 2020 with elections initially called for 25 April 2020, six months prior to the official end of the Government’s elected term. Drawing upon rapid interview narratives, we present the lived experiences of two women with disabilities and the unique challenges they are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we write this paper in September 2020, we acknowledge that the longer-term impacts of COVID-19 will not become immediately visible, particularly for disabled people from ethno-religious minority groups, including those residing within the former conflict zones.

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.

Participation and engagement in family activities among girls and young women with Rett syndrome living at home with their parents – a cross-sectional study

KRUSE GYLDHOF, Ditte
STAHLHUT, Michelle
EJLERSEN WAEHRENS, Eva
February 2021

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Purpose: To describe the extent of participation and engagement in family activities and explore variables potentially impacting on these factors in family activities among girls and young women with Rett syndrome (RTT) under the age of 21.

 

Materials and methods: The Child Participation in Family Activities (Child-PFA) questionnaire was sent to parents in the target group (n = 42). Additionally, age, number of siblings at home, ambulation level, clinical severity and level of hand function were recorded to explore possible impact. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Fishers exact test and cross-tables.

 

Results: 23 families participated. Highest degrees of participation and engagement were seen in social and stationary family activities. Indoor activities were frequent and showed high levels of participation and engagement, Outdoor activities were infrequent and showed low levels of participation despite a high degree of engagement. Routine activities were frequent but showed moderate to low participation and engagement. A negative association was found between participation in watching a movie and number of siblings living at home, and positive associations between engagement and age in three family activities.

 

Conclusion: Therapists working with this target group may benefit from focusing on engagement in routine activities and modification of family activities.

A report on the social protection response to COVID-19 for persons with disabilities, South Asian Region

BALASUBRAMANIAN, Meenakshi
INTERNATIONAL DISABILITY ALLIANCE (IDA)
CENTRE FOR INCLUSIVE POLICY (CIP)
February 2021

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The purpose of this report is to provide an overview of the social protection response and recovery initiatives by countries in the South Asian Region towards people with disabilities from the perspective of DPOs. The region is characterised by a high population with majority of states falling under low and middle-income status, high levels of economic informality, low social protection coverage, intersectional marginalisation due to gender, ethnicity and caste, and a high concentration of migrant population. The COVID-19 crisis has magnified vulnerabilities in the region and furthered the marginalisation of persons with disabilities
 

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.

Women’s experiences of living with albinism in Taiwan and perspectives on reproductive decision making: A qualitative study

HUANG, Mei-Zen
CHEN, Li-Li
HUNG, Shu-Ling
PUTHUSSERY, Shuby
2020

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People with Albinism tend to face multiple adverse physical, psychological and social consequences. Very little is known about experiences of women with Albinism and their deliberations whilst making reproductive decisions. This study aimed to explore lived experiences of women with Albinism and to understand their perspectives on reproductive decision making. Qualitative in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten women with Albinism in Taiwan. Five key themes emerged from the accounts which were centred around the sense of discrimination that they felt whilst growing up, their strive for normality, making difficult choices in their reproductive decisions, desire to protect children from harm and reflections of parenting struggles from own experiences and the experiences of their parents. We call for global and national policy makers and practitioners to introduce explicit measures to challenge the myths, stereotypes and prejudices associated with Albinism including specific interventions towards supporting women in pregnancy decision making.

Menstrual Hygiene Management: Challenges and Coping Strategies for Adolescents with Disabilities in the Kumasi Metro of Ghana

Enoch, Acheampong
Nadutey, Alberta
Afful, Barbara Fosua
Anokye, Reindolf
2020

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Purpose: Effective menstrual hygiene management is vital to the health, well- being, dignity, empowerment, mobility and productivity of girls and women. This study was conducted to ascertain menstrual hygiene management challenges and coping strategies of adolescents with disabilities in the Kumasi Metro of Ghana.

 

Method: An exploratory study design with qualitative approach was employed to select 18 participants. Data was collected through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions, and then transcribed and categorised into specific themes.

 

Results: Females with visual impairment had difficulty in maintaining good menstrual hygiene because of problems in detecting menstrual blood, inability to fix sanitary pads appropriately and wash underwear properly, and anxiety and stress from not knowing whether their period has started. The problems of those with physical impairment were related to inaccessible washrooms, long hours of being seated on the part of wheelchair-users, and difficulty in fixing sanitary pads for those with upper limb impairment. For those with hearing impairment, the main challenge was the communication barrier between them and their significant others whenever they needed help.

 

Conclusion: There are common challenges faced by all girls across the globe with regard to menstrual hygiene management. Adolescent females with disability however face additional challenges with regard to MHM. Those with physical disability encounter accessibility challenges, while the main challenge for the deaf and those with speech problems is communication. The visually impaired live in anxiety due to fear of staining their clothes.

Being a girl & disabled in West Africa : the educational situation in question Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso

Humanity & Inclusion
October 2020

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Questions de recherche

1 / Dans quelle mesure le handicap — en interrelation avec le genre — influence-t-il les parcours de scolarisation des filles handicapées?

2 / Quelles spécificités liées aux types et au degré de handicap (physique, visuel, auditif, intellectuel) peuvent être observées?

3 / Quelles sont les spécificités liées à l’âge des filles handicapées?

4 / A quels enjeux, notamment en matière de protection de l’enfance, les jeunes filles handicapées sont-elle exposées ?

5 / Quelles spécificités contextuelles émergent dans les trois pays, objet de l’étude et dans les différents terrains d’étude?

6 / Quel rôle joue la religion et les croyances populaires dans l’accentuation des discriminations à l’égard des filles handicapées?

7 / Quels éléments facilitateurs (familiaux/communautaires/institutionnels/politiques/etc.) pour l’éducation des filles handicapées pourraient être identifiés dans les différentes zones d’étude?

Être une fille et handicapée en Afrique de l’Ouest : La situation éducative en question : etude pays - Burkina Faso

Humanity & Inclusion
2020

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Questions de recherche

1 / Dans quelle mesure le handicap — en interrelation avec le genre — influence-t-il les parcours de scolarisation des filles handicapées?

2 / Quelles spécificités liées aux types et au degré de handicap (physique, visuel, auditif, intellectuel) peuvent être observées?

3 / Quelles sont les spécificités liées à l’âge des filles handicapées?

4 / A quels enjeux, notamment en matière de protection de l’enfance, les jeunes filles handicapées sont-elle exposées ?

5 / Quelles spécificités contextuelles émergent dans les trois pays, objet de l’étude et dans les différents terrains d’étude?

6 / Quel rôle joue la religion et les croyances populaires dans l’accentuation des discriminations à l’égard des filles handicapées?

7 / Quels éléments facilitateurs (familiaux/communautaires/institutionnels/politiques/etc.) pour l’éducation des filles handicapées pourraient être identifiés dans les différentes zones d’étude?

Être une fille et handicapée en Afrique de l’Ouest : La situation éducative en question : etude pays - Niger

Humanity & Inclusion
2020

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Questions de recherche

1 / Dans quelle mesure le handicap — en interrelation avec le genre — influence-t-il les parcours de scolarisation des filles handicapées?

2 / Quelles spécificités liées aux types et au degré de handicap (physique, visuel, auditif, intellectuel) peuvent être observées?

3 / Quelles sont les spécificités liées à l’âge des filles handicapées?

4 / A quels enjeux, notamment en matière de protection de l’enfance, les jeunes filles handicapées sont-elle exposées ?

5 / Quelles spécificités contextuelles émergent dans les trois pays, objet de l’étude et dans les différents terrains d’étude?

6 / Quel rôle joue la religion et les croyances populaires dans l’accentuation des discriminations à l’égard des filles handicapées?

7 / Quels éléments facilitateurs (familiaux/communautaires/institutionnels/politiques/etc.) pour l’éducation des filles handicapées pourraient être identifiés dans les différentes zones d’étude?

Être une fille et handicapée en Afrique de l’Ouest : La situation éducative en question : etude pays - Mali

Humanity & Inclusion
October 2020

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Questions de recherche

1 / Dans quelle mesure le handicap — en interrelation avec le genre — influence-t-il les parcours de scolarisation des filles handicapées?

2 / Quelles spécificités liées aux types et au degré de handicap (physique, visuel, auditif, intellectuel) peuvent être observées?

3 / Quelles sont les spécificités liées à l’âge des filles handicapées?

4 / A quels enjeux, notamment en matière de protection de l’enfance, les jeunes filles handicapées sont-elle exposées ?

5 / Quelles spécificités contextuelles émergent dans les trois pays, objet de l’étude et dans les différents terrains d’étude?

6 / Quel rôle joue la religion et les croyances populaires dans l’accentuation des discriminations à l’égard des filles handicapées?

7 / Quels éléments facilitateurs (familiaux/communautaires/institutionnels/politiques/etc.) pour l’éducation des filles handicapées pourraient être identifiés dans les différentes zones d’étude?

Empowering Women with Disabilities : moving from charity to right based model

Humanity & Inclusion
2020

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HI Pakistan has recently completed a UN Women funded project ”Empowering women with disabilities (EWwD)” focusing on the social and economic empowerment of the women with disabilities. The project was implemented at Islamabad capital territory (ICT), Peshawar, Nowshera and Karachi. This project has directly benefited more than 600 women with disabilities , whereas about 30 DPOs and a number of public private departments / institutions have also been engaged and benefitted.

 

HI Pakistan collected the stories of project beneficiaries and published to highlight the impact of the project and to integrate the lesson learnt in program cycle management.

Covid-19: Violence risk and loss of income among persons with disabilities

ADD International
October 2020

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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.

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

A person living with dementia learning to navigate an iPad: a case study

INGEBRAND, Elias
SAMUELSSON, Christina
HYDÉN, Lars-Christer
2020

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Purpose

This study challenges the notion that people living with dementia are unable to achieve novel learning without focussed intervention techniques. The purpose of this study is to explore how a woman living with dementia (Alzheimer’s disease) learns to use a tablet computer with support from communicative partners.

 

Method

The study is based on video recordings and the theoretical framework of learning as changing participation in joint activities. Quantitative and qualitative focus is on changes in the interactional organization over the course of six weeks in the activity of using an augmentative and alternative communication application.

 

Results

Over time, the participant living with dementia, relies less on the expertise and explicit instructions of her communicative partners when navigating the application, and more on the immediate feedback provided by the tablet computer.

 

Conclusions

The findings suggest that novel learning still is possible for people living with dementia, even without the implementation of focussed interventions. This study further emphasizes the procedural nature of learning for people living with dementia as the woman’s embodied actions were carried out in an increasingly more direct fashion.

Meeting basic needs for women and girls with disabilities during COVID-19

WOMEN ENABLED INTERNATIONAL
UN WOMEN
July 2020

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In March and April 2020, Women Enabled International (WEI) conducted an online qualitative survey of issues impacting women, girls, non-binary, trans, and gender non-conforming (TGNC) persons with disabilities, which received 100 responses from around the world. These individuals identified that COVID-19 had had a significant impact on their ability to meet basic needs, achieve an adequate standard of living, and live independently, including because of issues related to employment and income, access to support services and assistive devices, access to public transportation, and access to assistance from friends, family, and the public. This policy brief will discuss some of the findings from this survey to illustrate how the pandemic worsens existing realities of marginalised communities and will provide recommendation to stakeholders, in particular UN agencies and UN Country Teams and their partners, on how to mitigate adverse effects of pre-existing inequalities faced by women, girls and TGNC persons with disabilities, including on how to engage with networks and organizations as active agents in the process of ‘building back.’

Preparedness of civil society in Botswana to advance disability inclusion in programmes addressing gender-based and other forms of violence against women and girls with disabilities

HANASS-HANCOCK, Jill
MTHETHWA, Nomfundo
MOLEFHE, Malebogo
KEAKABETSE, Tshiamo
2020

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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

Inequalities in utilization of essential antenatal services for women with disabilities: An analysis of the 2017-18 Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey. DHS working paper. No.166

HAMEED, Waqas
ASIM, Muhammad
July 2020

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Although the number of disabled women entering motherhood is growing, there is little quantitative evidence about the utilization of essential antenatal care services by women with disabilities. The aim of this study is to examine inequalities in the use of essential antenatal services between women with and without disabilities.

This study analyzed data from the Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey 2017-18 on 6,791 women (age 15-49) who had a live birth in the 5 years before the survey. Multiple logistic regression was used to test the study hypothesis. 

Research questions addressed were:

1. What are the levels of inequalities in the use of essential ANC services between women with and without disabilities, and by the type of disability?

2. How is the relationship between women’s disability and the utilization of essential ANC antenatal moderated by women’s wealth status and urban versus rural residence? 

Disability Royal Commission: WWDA’s Response to Group Homes Issues Paper

SANDS, Therese
July 2020

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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
  • Intersectionality
  • Ableism, segregation and violence
  • Exposing and responding to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation

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