G. Pledges for Women & Girls with Disability

Intersecting issues which must be addressed to provide comprehensive protection for Women and girls with a disability

Women and girls with a disability have long been overlooked in the provision of protection measures in camps and refugee sites. In recent times the very high levels of sexual and gender-based violence experienced by this group are finally being articulated. However, service providers striving to meet their needs continue to be seriously underfunded. The potential of many women and girls with a disability to contribute positively to their families and communities has not often been considered because of the huge barriers they face.  In some communities, disability is seen as a shame, but measures to protect children with a disability from sexual predators, such as having to lock them in a shelter when parents are absent, is often misconstrued by NGOs. There are very few specialist services, or equipment in many sites, and the state of roads and pathways make it difficult for people with a physical disability to move around.  Services, including WASH are often not disability accessible. When considering durable solutions, having a disability or a child with a disability will often exclude people from resettlement or alternative solutions. Going back to countries of origin will often mean that people will be returned to places with even less access to services that are available in refugee sites. Girls and women with a disability who identify as LBTI are often prevented from finding a community with whom they can identify either deliberately by family, or because lack of mobility and access makes it impossible.

Example pledge to effectively address the needs of Women and Girls with a disability

Member States and other stakeholders could include all or some of the following Language in pledges to address the need of this group. 

We X State, X Stakeholder commit to ensuring that adequate services are funded and implemented to ensure full protection of women and girls with a disability. Shelter for people with a disability will be provided close to community facilities. WASH will be disability accessible, and pathways maintained to ensure women and girls with a disability can access all services, training and recreational facilities.  Specialist services will be provided for a range of physical and developmental disability groups, and opportunities will be provided to ensure that their capacity for self-reliance is identified and developed.  Disability-friendly livelihood spaces will be developed. Support will be made available to parents of children with a disability to ensure that they can provide an adequate quality of life for their children.  Community consultations will be undertaken to raise awareness of the needs and capacities of these groups, and to address the notion of “shaming” particular emphasis will be placed on protecting women and children with a disability from sexual abuse.