Neglected and Forgotten: Women with disabilities during the COVID crisis in India

Sightsavers and the Rising Flame initiated a research to respond to the urgent needs of women with disabilities in India during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this research was to capture and amplify voices and narratives of women with disabilities and to make strong recommendations to ensure inclusion of women with disabilities in social, legal, policy and systemic responses.

We conducted online and telephonic research consultations in May 2020, within the barriers faced or accommodations needed by participants, including access to internet, the need for sign language interpretation and the establishment of a safe space. A total of 82 women with disabilities and 12 experts across 19 states and nine self-identified disability groups participated in the research.

Broadly, the study is divided into access, food and essentials, social protection, health, hygiene and sanitation, education, employment and livelihood, domestic violence and emotional well-being. The study explores the ongoing barriers experienced by women across disabilities and makes recommendations to build back a better and more inclusive world.

The research was launched on July 14, 2020 in the presence of Deputy Country Representative, UNWOMEN, Disabled people’s organisations, women’s rights organisations, civil society actors and press. The launch event can be viewed at YouTube.

 

Download the full report here. Doc. PDF.

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Sightsavers stories

Manisha's story

Manisha from Jabalpur has orthopaedic disability and is supported by Sightsavers under the Social Inclusion Programme.

Sightsavers stories

Srinu’s story

“To protect people from the pandemic, I, along with my SHG members decided to tailor masks and distribute in the community, and educate people about wearing masks, practice social distancing and handwashing,” says Srinu.

Sightsavers stories

Preeti's story

Preeti* from Chittaurgarh is 20 years old and has orthopaedic disability. At five years of age, Preeti met with an accident in which she lost one of her legs.