Women Enabled International (WEI) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Release New Publication

Americas, Events, News, December 24 2018

Women Enabled International logoWASHINGTON, D.C., USA: On November 28, 2018, Women Enabled International (WEI) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched a new publication that provides practical and concrete guidance on the provision of inclusive and accessible services related to gender-based violence (GBV) and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for women and young persons with disabilities. The resource entitled, Women and Young Persons with Disabilities: Guidelines for Providing Rights-Based and Gender-Responsive Services to Address Gender-Based Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, was released at a launch event at the United Nations Headquarters on November 28, 2018 in recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the 16 Days of Activism and in advance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

With over sixty examples of good practices and input from experts from around the world, the Guidelines bring together in one document resources for how to provide quality GBV and SRHR services to both women (age 18 and above) and young persons (ages 10-24) with disabilities. The Guidelines cover critical GBV services for all victims and survivors, which includes inclusive health services, justice and policing services, and social services.  In addition, the Guidelines address how to adapt and ensure that fundamental SRHR services are accessible, including comprehensive sexuality education; information, goods, and services for the full range of modern contraceptive methods; maternal and newborn healthcare; and prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for sexual and reproductive health issues.

“Despite the fact that we know that women and young people with disabilities are one of the most at-risk groups for gender-based violence and violations of their sexual and reproductive health and rights, service providers of all sizes too often fail to provide accessible services. This only increases the vulnerability of women and young people with disabilities and exacerbates the violations they experience, which is unacceptable. Through these Guidelines we sought to provide a resource that can end this pattern,” said Stephanie Ortoleva, Esq., WEI Founding President and Executive Director.

While the primary audiences for this resource are GBV- and SRHR-related service providers, the Guidelines are a valuable resource for all stakeholders — including those in government, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations — involved in designing, developing, implementing or advocating for services for people with disabilities. The recommendations are aimed at all settings, including low-, middle- and high-resource settings, as well as humanitarian emergency settings.

“The Guidelines bring together for the first time the available standards, guidance, and good practices relating to the provision of GBV and SRHR services for both women and young people with and without disabilities.  By doing this, we aimed to create a document that provides practical guidance for how to build and adapt services to ensure that women and young persons with disabilities are not directly or indirectly excluded from the services they need or want,” said Anastasia Holoboff, Esq., WEI Legal Advisor and one of the authors of the Guidelines.

The Guidelines are a part of UNFPA’s We Decide Programme, which advocates that women and young persons with disabilities should enjoy equal opportunities, live a life free of gender-based violence, and can realize their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Funding for the Guidelines was provided by AECID, The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation.

The Guidelines are available for download online at both WEI and UNFPA’s websites. Accessible versions (Easy Read, DAISY, Epub) and French, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic translations are forthcoming.

For any questions on the Guidelines, please contact WEI at A.Holoboff@WomenEnabled.org

Participants at the launch event

Participants at the launch event

Source: IDA CRPD Forum

Re-posted with permission




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