Sexual and reproductive health of women with disability in the Philippines: Building evidence for action

Project Details

The objectives of the research are to:

  1. Increase the availability of information on disability prevalence and the lived experience of disability (well-being and access to services) in the Philippines.
  2. Generate data on the experiences of women with disability in relation to access to SRH programs (including barriers and facilitators) and women's experiences of SRH programs in Quezon City (Metro Manila) and Ligao City (Albay province).
  3. Analyse data to inform design and implementation of interventions to increase access to SRH programs for women with disability.
  4. Provide evidence on the effectiveness of these interventions and develop guidelines for gender-sensitive disability inclusion in SRH programs and across the health sector in the Philippines.
  5. Increase the capacity of local partners to implement disability inclusive research.   

Project summary

Women with disability can experience poorer health throughout their lives and have limited access to health services. The United Nations acknowledges the right of women with disability to have sexual relationships, get married and have a family, and to access comprehensive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services. However SRH programs are often not appropriate for, or accessible to, women with disability.

W-DARE is a three-year disability-inclusive, participatory action research program that aims to improve access to SRH programs for women with disability in the Philippines. Researchers from the University of Melbourne and De La Salle University (DLSU) in Manila lead W-DARE, in partnership with disabled people's organisations, service provider organisations and other academic partners. 

The project involved collection of quantitative data on disability prevalence and access to services (through a household survey of over 3000 people), and qualitative data on the SRH needs and experiences of women with disability (through in-depth interviews with women and girls with disability, and discussions with families and service providers).  

The evidence is being used to develop, implement and evaluate pilot interventions to address SRH barriers for women with disability, and will inform guidelines for gender-sensitive disability inclusion in the health sector in the Philippines.

Researchers

Dr Cathy Vaughan

Ms Sally Baker

Ms Alex Devine

Dr Manjula Marella

Dr Martha Morrow

Collaborators

Associate Professor Jesusa Marco (Social Development Research Center, De La Salle University - Manila, Philippines)

Mr Jerome Zayas (Social Development Research Center, De La Salle University - Manila, Philippines)

Funding

Australian Development Research Award (DFAT) and UNFPA

Research Outcomes

wdare.wordpress.com

Research Publications

Vaughan C, Devine A, Ignacio R, Lacsamana W, Jesusa Marco M, Zayas J 7 Sobritchea C. Building capacity for a disability-inclusive response to violence against women and girls: experiences from the W-DARE project in the Philippines. Gender & Development, 2016, 24 (2), 245-260.

Marella M, Devine A, Armecin G, Zayas J, Marco M & Vaughan C. Rapid assessment of disability in the Philippines: Understanding prevalence, well-being, and access to the community for people with disabilities to inform the W-DARE project. Population Health Metrics, 2016, 14 (1): 26.

Vaughan C, Edmonds T, Baker S, Marco M, Zayas J, Devine A, Gill-Atkinsons L, Marella M, Garcia J, Salgado J & Sobritchea C. W-DARE: A three-year program of participatory action research to improve the sexual and reproductive health of women with disabilities in the Philippines. BMC Public Health, 2015, 15: 984.

Research Group

Gender and Women's Health


School Research Themes

Disparities, disadvantage and effective health care



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Health Equity