Disability, Equity, Justice Working Group organised our second policy consultation on Women with Disabilities in Ahemdabad + virtual mode in collaboration with the Blind People’s Association Ahmedabad, US consulate General Mumbai, and Mariwala Health Initiative. The consultation was organised on May 9, 2023 from 2pm IST to 5 pm IST. We had a total of 35 in person participants and 156 virtual participants who were disabled as well as non disabled. We received registrations from more than 12 countries for the event with many global participants joining us virtually.
Speakers were from Gujarat and from Kenya and Sri Lanka – all women with diverse disabilities like blind and low vision, deaf blind, psychosocial disability, locomotor disabilities, muscular dystrophy. Speakers spoke on topics ranging employment, education, health, safety from abuse and violence, and livelihoods for women with disabilities. In person participants were from across the state of Gujarat and shared their lived experiences and recommendations to further the rights of women with disabilities. Best practices from rural India around self help groups, sports inclusion, residential support facilities were showcased.
Speakers raised points across a spectrum of issues concerning women with disabilities with a focus on concerns like designing assistive appliances like wheelchairs and tricycles keeping women with disabilities in mind to ensuring funds are allocated to respond to violence against women with disabilities to making access to justice mechanisms for women with disabilities more accessible and inclusive. Another speaker provided best practices examples from Kenya where a toll-free number provided accurate and accessible information on sexual and reproductive health for women with disabilities.
You can see the excerpts from our panel here.