W-DARE: Women with Disability taking Action on REproductive and Sexual Health
W-DARE Participatory Action Group for women with disability in Ligao
Women with disabilities experience numerous barriers in attaining their right to quality sexual and reproductive health. Women with disabilities have reduced access to health information, screening, prevention and care services, resulting in greater unmet need. Compounding this is the fact that women with disabilities are two to four times more likely to experience physical and sexual violence than women without disability. Violence towards women with disabilities is not only a serious violation of their human rights, but also undermines their sexual and reproductive health. Responding to the situation of women with disabilities requires a contextual understanding of their experience of disability and how this intersects with their sexual and reproductive health.
W-DARE is a three year research project which aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health of women with disabilities in the Philippines. The project was a collaboration between The University of Melbourne’s Centre for Health Equity and the Nossal Institute for Global Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, and De La sale University (Philippines), with community partners WOWLEAP, PARE, Likhaan Centre for Women’s Health, and the Centre for Women’s Studies at the University of the Philippines. Women with disabilities have been active members of the research team across all phases of the project. The project was conducted in Quezon City in Metro Manila, and in Ligao City in Albay Province. It was conducted in three phases:
- Phase one: collection of extensive local quantitative and qualitative data to better understand the experience of women with disabilities, including their sexual and reproductive health needs and the factors which prevent their access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and services.
- Phase two: based on the findings, development and support for a range of pilot activities aimed at improving access to quality sexual and reproductive health information and services for women with disabilities.
- Phase three: involves the evaluation of the pilot activities to help develop disability-inclusive, gender-sensitive guidelines for the provision of sexual and reproductive health services for women with disabilities. It is hoped these guidelines will be ready in mid-2016 and have relevance to the wider health sector and to other settings in the Indo- Pacific region.
For more information on the W-DARE project, please visit www.wdare.wordpress.com
W-DARE was funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through the Australian Development Research Awards Scheme (April 2013 – March 2016) under an award titled Sexual and Reproductive Health of Women with Disability in the Philippines: Building evidence for action.
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