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.