Project Details

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.


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.

Philippines Partner's Video


Professor Cathy Vaughan
Ms Sally Baker
Ms Alex Devine
Dr Manjula Marella

Dr Martha Morrow
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)


Australian Development Research Award (DFAT) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Research Publications

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

Marella M, Devine A, Armecin G, Zayas J, Marco M & Vaughan CRapid 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-Atkinson 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 PhilippinesBMC Public Health, 2015, 15: 984.

Research Group

Gender and Women's Health Unit

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

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