Around one in five women worldwide is a woman with a disability. Understanding how disability and gender intersect is key to identifying and dismantling the root causes of discrimination for women, men, girls and boys with disabilities. Emergencies and conflict situations often accentuate existing gender inequalities and if no specific attention is provided, these women might be left behind and at risk.
Women and girls with disabilities are three times more likely to experience gender-based violence (GBV) compared to women and girls without disabilities. Moreover, GBV is often compounded by disability-based discrimination. The incidence of violence against women and girls often increases during and after emergencies.
Basic elements can be implemented in order to eliminate barriers and ensure the inclusion of women and girls with disabilities in your emergency response programming:
- Ensure that each activity of your intervention meets the specific and diverse needs of all: consult women and girls with disabilities and their organisations;
- Include in your initial assessment a gender equality and diversity analysis of your context and intervention;
- Be aware of the main exclusion risk factors facing women with disabilities:
- Girls and women who are deaf or have intellectual disabilities or psychosocial disabilities / mental health conditions face higher risks exclusion and violence,
- Isolation of women with disabilities,
- Difficulties to access basic services such as health, education, protection, or food and NFI need also to be addressed.
- Train staff on disability and gender.
Action on Disability and Development International (ADD). Disability and gender-based violence. ADD International’s Approach. A learning paper.
Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC). Guidelines for Integrating Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action: Reducing risk, promoting resilience and aiding recovery. 2015.
IFCR. Gender and Diversity Organisational Assessment Toolkit. Pilot version. Asia Pacific Regional office. Kuala Lumpur. 2016.