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Strengthening Networks of Women with Disabilities

2016-06-14
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While humanitarian organizations are increasingly recognizing women and girls with disabilities in policies and guidelines, there are still significant gaps in operationalizing this at the field level. The needs and capacities of women and girls with disabilities are often under-represented in gender, protection, and disability forums in a humanitarian crisis. The Secretary-General’s Report for the World Humanitarian Summit notes that women and girls with disabilities face multiple forms of discrimination, adding to their risk of violence, abuse, and exploitation. The voices of women and girls with disabilities in affected populations are often not heard, their capabilities not recognized, and they have little opportunity to participate in and lead decision-making.

The Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) project Strengthening the capacity of networks of women with disabilities on humanitarian issues, funded by the Australian government and UN Women, supports organizations of women with disabilities to advocate on humanitarian issues at national, regional, and global levels. A global mapping identified and documented the role of organizations of women with disabilities (women’s DPOs) in humanitarian response, and effective strategies for the inclusion of women and girls with disabilities in humanitarian and post-conflict programs