HIV and Disability Policy Brief Released

Posted on 29 May 2009. Filed under: Announcements, Health, HIV/AIDS, News, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Disability advocates have long known from observation that people with disabilities around the world are often at higher risk for HIV/AIDS. The difficulty has been in persuading mainstream educators and service providers of this fact. A new policy brief on disability and HIV can help advocates educate governments, mainstream organizations, and agencies about the need to include people with disabilities in HIV-related programs and services.

Disabled people are routinely excluded, sometimes by accident and sometimes on purpose, from mainstream education outreach programs on HIV and from health care services meant for people with AIDS. But a growing body of evidence shows that people with disabilities have an active sex life and are as likely as anyone else in engage in risky behaviors. They also are far more likely to be targeted for sexual assault, particularly from men who have HIV. The United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS), World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have jointly released a new, 8-page policy brief on disability and HIV. This policy brief summarizes what is known about disabled people and their high risk level for being infected with HIV. It also summarizes some of the reasons why they have been excluded from mainstream programs meant to prevent HIV transmission. For example, many workers in the field mistakenly assume that people with disabilities don’t have sex or never abuse drugs. Or they may simply neglect to consider the needs of deaf people who need information delivered in sign language or highly visual materials; blind people who need materials in audio or Braille formats; people with intellectual disabilities who need information in plain language; or people with mobility impairments who may need to attend training workshops held in wheelchair accessible buildings.

The Disability and HIV Policy Brief includes a set of recommendations for governments, including suggestions such as ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD); providing HIV information in different formats tailored for different disability groups; providing people with disabilities with the same range of HIV, sexual, and reproductive health services as the rest of the population; ensuring that people with disabilities are trained to provide HIV-related education and care; and more. The policy brief also includes a few recommendations for civil society (for example, Non-Governmental Organizations) as well as for international agencies. The last section of the policy brief describes an example of AIDS-related activities in South Africa.

Learn more about the new policy brief at http://www.unaids.org/en/KnowledgeCentre/Resources/FeatureStories/archive/2009/20090409_Disability_HIV.asp. Or download the 8-page policy brief in PDF format (207 Kb) at http://data.unaids.org/pub/Manual/2009/jc1632_policy_brief_disability_en.pdf.



We Can Do learned about this policy brief via a notice posted to the IDA CRPD Forum email discussion group. I then gathered additional information about the UNAIDS web site and from the policy brief in PDF format (207 Kb).

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NEWS: Violence Against Disabled Denounced by Albanian Disability Rights Foundation (English and në gjuhën shqipe)

Posted on 29 May 2009. Filed under: Blind, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Human Rights, News, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

në gjuhën shqipe

Tirana, May 22nd, 2009
PRESS RELEASE

Albanian Disability Rights Foundation denounces the violence towards people with disability

Albanian Disability Rights Foundation (ADRF), through this declaration expresses the indignation on the violence exercised on May 21st, 2009 during the peaceful protest organized by blind people in front of the Government Building.

ADRF, expresses its concern for the violence of integrity and dignity of blind people, an action that was done in presence of staff of authorities responsible to guarantee the order and security of the Albanian citizens. Such acts, confirm once again the multiple discrimination and human rights violation faced by people with disability especially women with disability in Albania.

ADRF strongly denounces the act of violence and demand from the Albanian Government to take all measures to punish the person conducting this act and requires compensation to the person to whom violence was exercised.

ADRF makes an appeal to the Albanian Government to undertake in the future concrete measures that aim to eliminate discriminatory situations, to guarantee observance of human rights to all categories of people with disability on equal bases to all Albanian citizens.

ADRF
www.adrf.org.al
Tel: (04) 2269426
Rr: “Bogdani” (ish-A.Z.Çajupi) Pall. 15 Kt i 3, Tirane, Albania

Tiranë më 22.05.2009
DEKLARATE PËR SHTYP

FSHDPAK dënon dhunën e ushtruar ndaj Personave me aftësi të kufizuara në shikim

Fondacioni Shqiptar për të Drejtat e Personave me Aftësi të Kufizuara (FSHDPAK), me anë të kësaj deklarate shpreh indinjatën e thellë për dhunën e ushtruar në datë 21.05.2009, gjatë protestës së organizuar nga personat me aftësi të kufizuar në shikim, përpara selisë së Këshillit të Ministrave.

FSHDPAK, shpreh shqetësimin për cënimin e integritetit dhe dinjitetit të kategorisë të personave me aftësi të kufizuar në shikim, ndodhur për më tepër në prani të organeve të mbrojtjes së rendit dhe sigurisë të shtetasve Shqiptarë. Akte të tilla konfirmojnë edhe njëhërë diskriminimin e shumfishtë dhe shkeljen e të drejtave themelore të njeriut ndaj personave me aftësi të kufizuara dhe në mënyrë të veçantë ndaj grave me aftësi të kufizuara.

FSHDPAK, dënon me forcë aktin e dhunshëm dhe kërkon nga Qeveria Shqiptare marrjen e të gjitha masave për dënimin e dhunuesit dhe dëmshpërblimin e personit ndaj të cilit u ushtrua dhunë.

FSHDPAK, gjithashtu, kërkon të tërheqë vëmendjen e qeverisë Shqiptare për ndërrmarjen në të ardhmen të masave konkrete me synim eleminimin e situatave të tilla diskriminuese, garantimin dhe respektimin e të të drejtave themelore të njeriut për të gjitha kategoritë e personave me aftësi të kufizuar, si pjesë e rëndësishme në shoqërinë Shqiptare.

FSHDPAK
www.adrf.org.al
Tel: (04) 2269426
Rr: “Bogdani” (ish-A.Z.Çajupi) Pall. 15 Kt i 3, Tirane, Shqiperi



We Can Do received this press release via the Asia Pacific Disability email discussion group.

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Tirana, May 22nd, 2009

PRESS RELEASE

Albanian Disability Rights Foundation denounces the violence towards people with disability

Albanian Disability Rights Foundation (ADRF), through this declaration expresses the indignation on the violence exercised on May 21st, 2009 during the peaceful protest organized by blind people in front of the Government Building.

ADRF, expresses its concern for the violence of integrity and dignity of blind people, an action that was done in presence of staff of authorities responsible to guarantee the order and security of the Albanian citizens. Such acts, confirm once again the multiple discrimination and human rights violation faced by people with disability especially women with disability in Albania.

ADRF strongly denounces the act of violence and demand from the Albanian Government to take all measures to punish the person conducting this act and requires compensation to the person to whom violence was exercised.

ADRF makes an appeal to the Albanian Government to undertake in the future concrete measures that aim to eliminate discriminatory situations, to guarantee observance of human rights to all categories of people with disability on equal bases to all Albanian citizens.

ADRF

http://www.adrf.org.al
Tel: (04) 2269426
Rr: “Bogdani” (ish-A.Z.Çajupi) Pall. 15 Kt i 3, Tirane, Albania

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E-Discussion on Women with Disabilities in Development, March 10-24, 2009

Posted on 9 March 2009. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Announcements, Education, Employment, Events and Conferences, Health, Opportunities, Violence, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I am re-posting the following announcement, partly as a reminder for people who wish to register but also to correct and clarify the instructions for registration:

People from around the world are invited to participate in an e-discussion on women with disabilities in development, to be conducted on-line from March 10 to 24, 2009. The email-based discussion is meant to involve aid agencies; government officials dealing with gender and disability; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); Disabled People Organizations (DPOs); and World Bank operational and technical staff.

The intent of this e-discussion is to collect experiences, problems, solutions, and unresolved issues related to the inclusion of women with disabilities in development. Participants will also be encouraged to provide references to analytical work (studies, books, articles, reports, etc.) on women with disabilities and their situation and inclusion in economic and social life. These references will be gathered into a bibliography.

The e-discussion will cover the following topics: framing the issue of women with disabilities in development; reproductive health of women with disabilities; violence against women with disabilities and access to justice; education of women with disabilities; women with disabilities and the environment; women with disabilities and employment; issues of specific concern to women with disabilities that are missing from the development agenda and what can be done to ensure that these issues receive appropriate attention; and, what concrete actions can be taken to enable women with disabilities to claim their place in the development agenda.

Participation is free, and will be in English.

If you are interested in joining the two-week e-discussion on women with disabilities in development, then you may register by following these steps:

1. Send an email to listserv@listserv.syr.edu

2. Put the following command in the SUBJECT LINE of your email:

Subject: EDISCWWD [Your First Name, Your Last Name, Your Country]

FOR EXAMPLE:
EDISCWWD Jane Smith Australia

3. In the SAME EMAIL, please put the following command in the MESSAGE BODY of your email to listserv@listserv.syr.edu:

Subscribe EDISCWWD [Your First Name, Your Last Name]

FOR EXAMPLE:

Subscribe EDISCWWD Sita Lal

If you have any questions regarding registering for the E-Discussion, please contact Kelly Hamel at kmhamel@law.syr.edu

This e-discussion is brought to you by the Disability & Development Team (HDNSP); the Office of Diversity Programs; and the Gender and Development Group at the World Bank; and the Global Partnership for Disability & Development (GPDD)

Please feel free to forward this invitation to others who might be interested in participating in the E-Discussion.

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E-Discussion on Women with Disabilities in Development, March 10-24

Posted on 4 March 2009. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, accessibility, Announcements, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, Education, Employment, Events and Conferences, Health, Human Rights, Inclusion, Networking Opportunities, Opportunities, Violence, Women | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

People from around the world are invited to participate in an e-discussion on women with disabilities in development, to be conducted on-line from March 10 to 24, 2009. The email-based discussion is meant to involve aid agencies; government officials dealing with gender and disability; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); Disabled People Organizations (DPOs); and World Bank operational and technical staff.

The intent of this e-discussion is to collect experiences, problems, solutions, and unresolved issues related to the inclusion of women with disabilities in development. Participants will also be encouraged to provide references to analytical work (studies, books, articles, reports, etc.) on women with disabilities and their situation and inclusion in economic and social life. These references will be gathered into a bibliography.

The e-discussion will cover the following topics: framing the issue of women with disabilities in development; reproductive health of women with disabilities; violence against women with disabilities and access to justice; education of women with disabilities; women with disabilities and the environment; women with disabilities and employment; issues of specific concern to women with disabilities that are missing from the development agenda and what can be done to ensure that these issues receive appropriate attention; and, what concrete actions can be taken to enable women with disabilities to claim their place in the development agenda.

Participation is free, and will be in English.

If you are interested in joining the two-week e-discussion on women with disabilities in development, then you may register by following these steps:

1. Send an email to listserv@listserv.syr.edu

2. Put the following command in the SUBJECT LINE of your email:

Subject: EDISCWWD [Your First Name, Your Last Name, Your Country]

FOR EXAMPLE:
EDISCWWD Jane Smith Australia

3. In the SAME EMAIL, please put the following command in the MESSAGE BODY of your email to listserv@listserv.syr.edu:

Subscribe EDISCWWD [Your First Name, Your Last Name]

FOR EXAMPLE:

Subscribe EDISCWWD Sita Lal

If you have any questions regarding registering for the E-Discussion, please contact Kelly Hamel at kmhamel@law.syr.edu

This e-discussion is brought to you by the Disability & Development Team (HDNSP); the Office of Diversity Programs; and the Gender and Development Group at the World Bank; and the Global Partnership for Disability & Development (GPDD)

Please feel free to forward this invitation to others who might be interested in participating in the E-Discussion.

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Disabled People Must Not Pay for Crisis, Says European Disability Forum

Posted on 27 November 2008. Filed under: Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Employment, Human Rights, News, Poverty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

français

EDF Statement on the Economic Crisis: Disabled People Must Not Pay for the Crisis

Paris, 16 Novembre 2008 – The European Disability Forum, which is the voice of more than 50 million European people with disabilities, calls on the European Council, Commission and Parliament and other European institutions and all the governments of Europe to ensure disabled people and their families do not pay for the worldwide economic crisis by the reduction in their income, benefits, employment opportunities or in cuts in support to our representative organisations.

The crisis was caused by the irresponsible lending and unacceptable negligence by those in charge of the financial institutions and regulatory bodies of the world. Governments’ response to the ‘credit crunch’ has been to create financial resources to bail out the banks. Now as this lack of confidence feeds its way into the general economic system it is vital that poor, elderly and disabled people and their families of Europe do not pay for this crisis. We already in a precarious position prior to the crisis, therefore call for a reflationary approach to spend more on investment in accessible infra structure, on benefits and the provision of tax relief, so that these groups can buy goods and services so improving the economic situation.

The world through the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities has only just recognised the urgent need to extend the international human rights law framework to disabled people. Society cannot afford to dilute its commitment to human rights including the right to employment and family life. Traditionally disabled people have been the ‘reserve army of labour’, ’the last to be hired the first to be fired’, seen as expendable at times of economic crisis. Disabled People, their families, the unemployed and the poor cannot become the scapegoat for a crisis not of their making. Already the worsening economic position has led to attempts to cut benefits in many countries such as Ireland, Hungary, Sweden and Italy.

The lesson of this crisis – the value of investing in people – is far more important than speculative investment and it benefits the whole of society and strengthens its resistance to such crisis driven changes. If the gap between the disadvantaged and the wealthy widens, it will cost society more in the long run. The EDF will ensure the equality and rights of disabled people come to the top of the political agenda in the forthcoming European Elections.

Cutbacks and mass unemployment will develop a fertile ground for violence, hate crime, undermine solidarity and produce dangerous attitudes for democracy. We call on all those with political and economic decision making responsibility to do all they can to ensure that disabled and poor people are treated with equality and their economic well being is assured by the measures they take at this time. Now is the time for strong action so that in 2010-European Anti Poverty Year- disabled people and other disadvantaged groups do not again come to the top of the agenda.

The European Disability Forum (EDF) is the European umbrella organisation representing the interests of 50 million disabled citizens in Europe. EDF membership includes national umbrella organisations of disabled people from all EU/EEA countries, as well as European NGOs representing the different types of disabilities, organisations and individuals committed to disability issues. The mission of the European Disability Forum is to ensure disabled people full access to fundamental and human rights through their active involvement in policy development and implementation in Europe.

Forum européen des personnes handicapées
>>> Communiqué de presse

Déclaration du Forum Européen des personnes handicapées à propos de la crise financière: Les personnes handicapées ne doivent pas payer la crise

Paris, le 16 novembre 2008 – Représentant 50 millions d’européens en situation de handicap, le Forum Européen des Personnes Handicapées appelle le Conseil Europeén la Commission Européenne et le Parlement Européen, les Institutions Européennes et tous les Gouvernements des pays européens à s’assurer que les personnes handicapées et leurs familles n’aient pas à payer les conséquences de la crise financière internationale par une réduction de leurs revenus, de leurs accès à l’emploi, de leurs moyens de compensation ou par une réduction des moyens attribués à leurs organisations représentatives.

La crise financière a été causée par des accords de prêts irresponsables et des négligences inacceptables de la part des responsables d’Institutions financières et de régulation financières. La réponse des Gouvernements à cette déroute bancaire a été la création de ressources financières pour sauver les banques. Maintenant que la perte de confiance gagne l’économie réelle, il est essentiel que les européens exposés à la pauvreté, à la maladie et aux situations handicap n’aient pas à faire les frais de cette crise. Déjà affectée par la précarité avant cette crise, nous pensons au contraire qu’une politique de relance devrait augmenter les allocations, investir dans l’accessibilité et accorder des avantages fiscaux pour que ces groupes puissent consommer des biens et des services et ainsi soutenir le développement économique.

Avec l’adoption par les Nations Unies de la Convention Internationale pour le droit des personnes handicapées le monde vient juste de reconnaître le besoin urgent d’un élargissement du cadre des Droits de l’Homme aux personnes handicapées. La société ne peut pas se permettre maintenant de d’affaiblir son engagement pour les Droits de la Personne et notamment le droit à l’emploi et le droit à fonder une famille.

Il est depuis longtemps d’usage que la réponse aux besoins des personnes handicapées représente une « réserve d’emploi », ce sont les dernières à être engagées et les premières à être licenciées, perçues comme quantité négligeable. La dégradation de la situation économique a déjà conduit plusieurs pays à vouloir supprimer des avantages acquis, comme en Irlande, en Hongrie, en Suède et en Italie.

La leçon de cette crise est que l’investissement sur le développement des personnes est beaucoup plus essentiel que les investissements spéculatifs, qu’il bénéficie à l’ensemble de la collectivité et qu’il renforce les capacités de réponse collective à ce type de crise. Si le fossé entre les riches et les pauvres s’élargit encore la crise coûtera plus cher et durera plus longtemps. Le Forum Européen des Personnes Handicapées veillera à ce que l’égalité et les droits des personnes handicapes devienne une priorité de l’agenda politique européen lors des prochaines élection européennes.

Les restrictions et l’augmentation du chômage vont créer un terrain propice au développement de la violence, d’attitudes dangereuses pour la démocratie et constituent une menace pour la solidarité. Nous appelons les responsables politiques et économiques à faire face à leur responsabilité et à prendre immédiatement les décisions nécessaires pour que les personnes handicapées, leurs familles et les personnes pauvres soient traitées avec équité et leur avenir économique assuré.

Le Forum européen des personnes handicapées (FEPH) est la plateforme européenne qui représente les intérêts de 50 millions de citoyens handicapés au sein de l’Union européenne. Les organisations membres du FEPH incluent les plateformes nationales des personnes handicapées de tous les Etats membres de l’UE et de l’Espace économique européen, ainsi que les ONG européennes représentant les différents types de handicap. La mission du FEPH est de garantir le respect total des droits fondamentaux et humains des personnes handicapées par le biais d’une implication active dans le développement et application des politiques européennes.



This press release was circulated on the AsiaPacificDisability listserver.

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JOB POST: Associate General Secretary for Inclusion, American Friends Service Committee, Philadelphia, USA

Posted on 3 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Disaster Planning & Mitigation, Employment, Inclusion, Jobs & Internships, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Note from We Can Do: The American Friends Service Committee strives to be inclusive of people with disabilities in the work they do in developing nations, and also is interested in employing people who themselves have disabilities. The application deadline for this particular opportunity is October 3, 2008. Monitor the AFSC website for more job opportunities or volunteer opportunities in the future.

1501 Cherry Street • Philadelphia, PA 19102-1479

Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer

The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization which includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace, and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the Quaker belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.

Job Description

Job Title: Associate General Secretary for Inclusion

Region/Unit: Office of the General Secretary

Supervisor: General Secretary

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Summary of Responsibilities: The AGS for Inclusion will provide leadership for achieving and sustaining diversity as an indispensable element of AFSC’S program and administrative excellence. The AGS/Inclusion will hold responsibility for ensuring steady, broad engagement in the organization’s effort. Reporting to the General Secretary and working closely with the Human Resources Dept., s/he will take initiative in developing programs and procedures and securing resources to enable the recruitment and retention of a diverse staff. To do so, the incumbent will consult and collaborate regularly with AFSC’S leadership, the Diversity Council, the HR Department and, as needed, with departments, regions, programs, staff groups and individual staff members as well. The AGS/Inclusion will act as a resource for administrators and committees addressing related issues of equity; and for those promoting a fair and open workplace environment.

The AGS/Inclusion will serve as AFSC’S affirmative action officer and will hold primary responsibility and accountability for ensuring equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination in all areas and for developing and implementing the organization’s affirmative action plan. Working with the HR Department, s/he will ensure that AFSC’S employment policies and practices comply with all relevant Federal, State, and local requirements as an employer. The incumbent must regularly assess and report whether AFSC is fully complying with equal employment opportunity, non-discrimination, and affirmative action requirements as they apply to AFSC’S employees.

Because AFSC is committed to realizing diversity’s benefits to moving AFSC’S mission forward, the AGS will not only act to promote staff diversity but will contribute to program planning and staff development. The AGS will advise the General Secretary on Inclusion issues. The AGS will support and serve as a member of the Diversity Council. The AGS will also provide support and staff leadership to the Board Race Relations Committee and the National Affirmative Action Committee.

Responsibilities:

Inclusion
Work closely with the HR Department, General Secretary’s office, national and regional leadership to ensure that AFSC reaches its goals for a diverse staff and that the diversity of the staff is central to moving AFSC’S mission forward.

1. Initiate programs, trainings and discussions to foster institutional awareness of, and commitment to, diversity goals, including gender equity and equal opportunity.

2. Contribute to planning and action that will enable search committees to develop diverse pools of candidates for open positions

3. Work with the HR Department to strengthen recruitment and retention programs for staff.

4. Support and contribute to studies of institutional needs and trends in areas related to diversity; disseminate findings; implement strategies to address findings.

5. Along with HR colleagues, lead the design and planning of staff development programs that ensure a healthy working atmosphere and foster career development for members of under-represented groups.

6. Participate in panels, roundtables and workshops at the local state and national level on issues of diversity and inclusion.

7. With colleagues across the organization, design strategies to improve effective communication and collaboration.

8. Work closely with AFSC leadership to integrate change management methodologies into all planning.

9. Provide staff support and leadership to the National Affirmative Action Committee and the Board Race Relations Committee. Consult with the AFSC Board Nominating Committee, as needed.

Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination and Affirmative Action
Ensure that AFSC’S employment policies and practices comply with all relevant Federal, State and local requirements for equal opportunity, non-discrimination and affirmative action. Ensure that the spirit and letter of AFSC’S own Affirmative Action Plan is exceeded.

1. Represent AFSC on matters of diversity and on issues involving compliance agencies.

2. Review AFSC’S Affirmative Action Plan and update it annually, modifying the plan to conform to new regulations and changing law.

3. Develop and institutionalize and effective process for continual review and updating of the Affirmative Action Plan.

4. Direct the work of the Office of Inclusion, confidentially receiving, investigating and resolving complaints of discrimination in accordance with AFSC’S policies. Participate in other investigations of diversity related issues in coordination with the HR department and appropriate organizational leadership.

5. After an assessment, and working with the Finance director, develop an initial plan (with resources and timeline needed) to insure that all AFSC locations are ADA compliant.

6. In cooperation with the International Division, develop and maintain culturally appropriate diversity practices in the international programs.

Qualifications:
1. Direct experience working with Equal Employment Opportunity and/or Affirmative Action issues. Working knowledge and understanding of all applicable EEO laws. Direct working experience with – issues of women, people of color, lesbians, gay men, and bisexual and transgendered persons, and people with disabilities. Demonstrated sensitivity to these issues.
2. 10+ years of senior level management experience.
3. Baccalaureate degree required, advanced degree preferred.
4. Demonstrated ability to exercise discretion; set and maintains standards for confidentiality, apply policies with consistency, use creativity in problem solving; ability to integrate information and use sound judgment and retain a positive outlook under pressure.
5. Experience with and commitment to the principles of AFSC in regard to issues of race, class, age, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and disability. Commitment to implement AFSC’s affirmative action policy of non-discrimination and plan for the inclusion of women, gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, people of color, and persons with disabilities.
6. Commitment to affirmative action as witness to the Quaker belief in the equal worth of all people. Experience working with a wide range of people from diverse racial, cultural, economic, and other backgrounds. Demonstrated ability to work and communicate with diverse staff and be sensitive to their personnel needs.
7. Belief in and the ability to represent AFSC’s faith-based organizational principles, including a commitment to nonviolence, equality and anti-oppression work, and a belief in the intrinsic worth of each individual.
8. Demonstrated ability to clearly convey information and ideas both verbally and in writing. Resiliency, flexibility and capacity to be effective, maintain productivity, keep focus on results and use sound judgment are required attributes.
9. Demonstrated ability in assessing staff development needs and implementing training solutions as needed.
10. Ability to work collaboratively, building relationships and teams across functions. Ability to negotiate, influence and compromise. Ability to provide and receive feedback.
11. Requires sound judgment and decision making decision skills.
12. Computer proficiency in MS Work, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Experience working with various types of software preferred.
13. Willingness and ability to travel 25% to 40% of the time, to attend evening and weekend meetings, and to be available for consultation within and outside office hours.

The American Friends Service Committee is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified persons are encouraged to apply regardless of their religious affiliation, race, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.

The AFSC National Office is a unionized workplace, represented by District Council 47 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO. This is a management position and is not represented.

AFSC is a smoke-free workplace.

Human Resources Department
GSO/Associate General Secretary – 08/08

All candidates are required to apply via the AFSC jobs webpage at www.AFSC.org/jobs. The resume submission deadline is Friday, October 3, 2008

Additional information regarding AFSC can be found on its website, www.afsc.org.



Thank you to Linda Lotz at AFSC for passing along this job announcement.

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Disabled Girls in the Classroom: Finding What We Don’t Know

Posted on 25 August 2008. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Children, Cross-Disability, Education, Reports, Violence, Women, youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

A report entitled Education for All: a gender and disability perspective (PDF format, 151 Kb) discusses what we don’t know about girls with disabilities in relation to education, and what ought to be done about it.

Readers familiar with gender issues within education know that, in many countries, girls are still more likely to drop out of school–if they ever attend at all. They may be needed at home to fetch the water; they may be afraid of being sexually assaulted on the way to school; or they may be embarrassed about managing their menustration at schools where there is no separate bathroom for girls–or perhaps no bathrooms at all.

Regular We Can Do readers and others familiar with the education field may also recall that about 77 million primary school-aged children today are not enrolled in school–and about one-third of them have disabilities. Schools are reluctant to enroll disabled students; parents may fear subjecting children with disabilities to bullying from the community and thus keep them at home; or decision makers may simply assume that disabled students either cannot learn or would be unable to use their educational degree later on because “no one wants to hire disabled workers.”

But what of girls with disabilities? Being a double minority does tend to come with a triple whammy. Disabled girls are excluded because they have disabilities; they are excluded because they are girls; and then they are excluded yet again when programs might target girls without including disabled girls, or when programs might target children with disabilities without considering the impact of gender.

This would seem to imply that girls with disabilities may face a unique set of barriers when pursuing an education–barriers that neither non-disabled girls nor disabled boys need to consider. If a unique set of barriers, then surely a unique set of solutions would also be needed to ensure that the push to put the last 77 million children into school does not leave behind girls with disabilities. But, how can we tackle these barriers if we don’t have a clear picture of what they are?

The 35-page paper, Education for All: a gender and disability perspective (PDF format, 151 Kb), is an attempt to pull together what is known about girls in education with what is known about disability in education, coupled with anecdotcal information about how girls with disabilities are affected differently. It provides recommendations for areas researchers should be focusing on and gives a few ideas for things that can help.

This paper was published in 2003. But, unfortunately, I doubt it is significantly dated. I don’t pretend to be intensively familiar with the literature on education among students with disabilities internationally. But a quick skim through a more recent report on disability in education, Education’s Missing Millions (PDF format, 1.2 Mb), suggests that advancements since 2003 have been far from dramatic.

Perhaps one of the most important purposes of Education for All: a gender and disability perspective (PDF format, 151 Kb) is to help remind gender specialists that girls with disabilities are first and foremost, girls–but will be inherently excluded if not consciously targeted. For We Can Do readers already working on disability issues in education, another purpose is to remind that barriers excluding women and girls from full participation in society impact disabled girls and women just as much–if not more so.

If issues impacting girls with disabilities interests you, then you might also be interested in some of the following We Can Do posts:

Equalizing Educational Opportunity for the Nigerian-Ghanaian Blind Girl Child
Violence Against Blind/VI Girls in Malawi
Report on Violence Against Disabled Children (which I include in this list because violence against girls is often cited as a reason why some girls quit school)
Education’s Missing Millions: Including Disabled Children
Report on Promoting the Rights of Children with Disabilities (the referenced report includes brief references throughout to girls, including in the context of education)
Online discussion of inclusive education in Eastern Africa

Advocates working to promote more educational opportunities for girls with disabilities also may wish to consult, and cite, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), with particular attention to Article 6 (Women with Disabilities); Article 7 (Children with Disabilities); and Article 24 (Education).



I found this report by browsing the AskSource.info database.

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CALL FOR PAPERS: Child Injuries, Violence, Disability

Posted on 16 July 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Papers, Children, Cross-Disability, Health, Opportunities, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Dear colleagues,

The World Health Organization Bulletin will publish a special issue on
Child Injuries, Violence and Disability in May 2009.

A call has gone out for related articles, see
http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/media/news/whobulletin/en/index.html

Authors are encouraged to submit papers by 1 September 2008.

Please forward this call to groups or individuals that you think may be interested.

Thanks
Alana

Alana OFFICER
Coordinator
Disability and Rehabilitation (DAR)
Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability
World Health Organization

Interested authors should please follow the link to the official webpage on the call the papers in order to obtain all details, including guidelines for authors and instructions on how to submit your papers. We Can Do is unable to answer your inquiries. Thank you.



This announcement was circulated by Alana Officer at the World Health Organization. I found this announcement via the AsiaPacificDisability email discussion group.

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CALL FOR PAPERS: Situation of Persons with Disabilities in Post-War and Post-Conflict Situations

Posted on 23 June 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Papers, Cross-Disability, Opportunities, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

ZEITSCHRIFT BEHINDERUNG UND DRITTE WELT
GERMAN JOURNAL FOR DISABILITY AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

[Note:As of September 2008, I have been notified that the deadline for this specific call for papers has already passed. Interested authors, however, may wish to monitor http://www.zbdw.dethe German Journal for Disability and International Development website to learn about their publication and in anticipation of future calls for papers on other topics.]

Topic:
Situation of Persons with Disabilities in Post-War and Post-Conflict Situations

This issue of the journal deals with living conditions and situations of people with disabilities after periods of war and/or conflict. As already stated by UN Special Rapporteur Leandro Despouy in 1993 wars and armed conflicts are causing long-term disabilities in large groups of the population and – at the same time – are situations of high vulnerability for PWD. Since strategies of war as well as weapons have changed over the last decades and differ from conflict to conflict, the situation of PWD afterwards might be disparate but disastrous in any way. The challenges that arise are manifold for PWD as well as aid organisations and governments. In most situations of conflict victims have no legal basis to claim their rights. At the same time they have to cope with insufficient rehabilitation services. With this issue, the German Journal for Disability and International Development wants to raise a topic that is not often heard but reality for many people. It will ask about:

  • traumatisation of large parts of population
  • legal rights of victims of wars/conflicts and compensation
  • availability of and access to rehabilitation services
  • specific challenges for PWD and war veterans concerning resettlement and generating income
  • the problem of unfair distribution of aids between war veterans and disabled civilians
  • changes in perceptions of disability through conflict and war

Suggestions for contributions:

  • Introductory article
  • Articles reflecting and analysing the situation in specific countries
  • Impact studies/Surveys/Case Studies/Reviews
  • Reports from best practice projects
  • Autobiographical reports
  • And others

Contact:
Gabriele Weigt – gabi.weigt@t-online.de
Doris Graeber – doris.graeber@arcor.de

About us:
The Journal for Disability and International Development is published by the Forum Disability and International Development. Since 1990 it is published three times a year. The target groups of the journal are scientists, professionals and interested people from all over the world.

It aims to be a forum for an international exchange about the topic. Beside this it creates professional discussions on educational, social, developmental and intercultural issues in the context of disability and development. Each issue of the journal has a leading topic consisting of diverse articles.

The editors and the advisory board try to win experts from all continents to contribute to the journal. The journal is published in German and English and available in a printed and online version http://www.zbdw.de

Information for authors can be downloaded in RTF format (26 Kb) at: http://zbdw.de/projekt01/media/zbdw_author_info_engl.rtf



We Can Do first learned about this call for papers when it was circulated on the Global Partnership for Disability and Development listserv. People interested in submitting articles or in making inquiries should contact the German Journal for Disability and Development directly, not We Can Do. Please follow the relevant links or email contacts in the announcement above.

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RESOURCE: Disability Kenya Web Site

Posted on 7 March 2008. Filed under: Cross-Disability, Health, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Inclusion, News, Resources, Sub-Saharan Africa Region | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

People with disabilities in Kenya and other interested individuals can turn to an on-line web site, Disability Kenya, to learn more about life for disabled people in Kenya.

At Disability Kenya, you can find news, opinion pieces and feature articles, and sometimes information about resources. Here are just a few examples:

If you are currently working on a funding proposal and aren’t sure how to write one, you can consult a model at

http://www.disabilitykenya.org/codeke%20projects.htm

The proposal at the above link successfully obtained grants to support a project using computers to help deaf students overcome barriers in education and communication. That project helped lead to the Disability Kenya web site.

The health page at Disability Kenya has links to information about HIV/AIDS in Kenya, projects targeted at the Deaf community there, and other health-related information (e.g., rape, violence toward disabled children, accessibility issues at a local hospital, etc.).

The Inclusion page at Disability Kenya, and particularly the Projects page, both share information about projects targeted at people with disabilities in Kenya.

Learn about disability-related laws in Kenya, and other policy issues and news, at the Disability Kenya Policy Page.

Or learn about issues related to the education of disabled Kenyan children at the Education page.

Start exploring Disability Kenya at:

http://www.disabilitykenya.org/

Disability Kenya is updated regularly, so people with a strong interest may wish to check their site periodically for new materials.



We Can Do was first alerted to Disability Kenya some months ago when someone involved with their web site tried to contact me. My apologies for taking so long to put up a post related to it. I was also reminded about this web site more recently when I saw a link to it from the AskSource.info web site, which has a very large and rapidly growing data base of resources and links related to people with disabilities in developing countries, as well as resources related to health issues in general.



Learn how to receive an email alert when new material is posted at We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com).



Also at We Can Do: catch up with the news; explore resources, toolkits, or funding and fellowship opportunities that might be helpful for your organization; find research, reports, papers, or statistics; or look up conferences, events, call for papers, or education/training opportunities.



This blog post is copyrighted to We Can Do (wecando.wordpress.com). Currently, only two web sites have on-going permission to syndicate (re-post) We Can Do blog posts: BlogAfrica.com and www.RatifyNow.org. Other sites are most likely plagiarizing this post without permission.

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Violence Against Blind/VI Girls in Malawi

Posted on 6 October 2007. Filed under: Academic Papers and Research, Blind, Case Studies, Children, Guest Blogger, Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Violence | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This paper was presented by its author Abigail Suka at the 12th International Council on Education for People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI) World Conference held in Malaysia from 16-21 July 2006.  Although she was with Sightsavers International at the time she presented this paper, Abigail Suka is now an independent consultant in development issues, team building, and planning.  She is also a part-time postgraduate student working toward a Masters of Public Health (MPH) at the University of Malawi.  Thank you to Abigail Suka for granting permission to publish her paper at We Can Do.

Violence against Girls who are Blind and
Visually Impaired in Schools in Malawi

Abigail Suka
Country Representative
Sight Savers International
Private Bag A 197
Lilongwe
Malawi
Introduction
In Malawi violence against girls (VAG) is rampant. Research work commissioned between recently by DFID, Action Aid and its partners shows that out of all the incidences of violence in schools 65% of these affect girls while 35% affect boys.(1) None of this research has looked at how violence in school affects girls with disabilities in general and visual impairment in particular.

Sight Savers International (SSI) in Malawi is a member of the Civil Society Coalition for Quality Basic Education (CSQBE) which recently conducted a study on Violence Against Girls. SSI collaborated with Malawi Union of the Blind to also gather some information from this study and extrapolate it to attempt to establish how the girl who is blind is affected by such violence. This paper reports issues raised in discussions held by the writer with MUB Girl Guide members using the CSQBE study report as a guide, and some key informants, mainly blind young women who have defied the odds and passed through an unsafe school system. It also draws on literature available on the subject.

What is Gender Based Violence (GBV)?
The Fourth World Conference of Women, held in Beijing, China in 1995, reported the continued exploitation and abuse of girls in spite of the ratification of various UN conventions notably the Convention of the Rights of the Child of 1989. Specific issues raised included the violence directed at girls in the form of female genital mutilation, forced and early marriages, sexual exploitation, unequal access to education and health care. GBV recognizes that violence directed at girls and women is expressive of patriarchal power and authority.(2)

What is School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV)?
SRGBV comes in various forms such as sexual, physical, verbal, emotional and psychological and occurs in and out of school. Perpetrators of VAG are many but most of the VAG is committed by male pupils and male teachers thereby making schools unsafe for girls. This problem came into the limelight because in most schools enrolment for girls in upper primary school and secondary schools in much lower than boys. Moreover in most schools girls perform poorly during classroom exercises, tests and examinations. This problem is partly attributed to violence and is of concern because they cause high drop out and low education attainment for girls.

The Global Statistics on Violence Against Girls with Disabilities
The FREDA Research Centre on VAG, based in Canada, reports that (3)
• 53% of women with disabilities from birth have been raped, abused, or assaulted (Lynn & O’Neill 1995:278)
• The rate of sexual abuse for girls with disabilities is quadruple that of the national average (Razack 1994)
Another study conducted through the New York City Board of Education who documented cases of adult to student sexual abuse found that whilst students receiving special education made up only 7% of the student body as a whole, they made up twice that percentage of targets of abuse.(4) A report by Waxman Fiduccia summarizing a few studies that offer a gender breakdown suggests that women and girls face higher rates of abuse than men and boys, often at the rate of more than twice the rate of non disabled girls. (5)

Perceptions about Violence Against Girls
Centre for Social Research in Malawi found the following perceptions about acts that constitute violence against girls at school(6):

• Corporal punishments like digging pits, molding bricks during class time
• Teasing, bullying and beating by boys and teachers
• Forced to have relationships and sex with boys and teachers
• Verbal abuse
• Sexually harassment i.e. touching their breasts and other private parts.
• Rape
• Impregnation
• Discrimination by teachers.
• Suspending and expelling girls without warnings.
• Not giving girls chance to voice out their views.

A focus group discussion undertaken with Malawi Union of the Blind – Youth Wing girls when they were undergoing Girl Guide training, identified all the above as factors affecting them and added some more as:

• Threats and actual sexual abuse from specialist teachers, class room (contact) teachers and blind boys
• Promises to marry from blind adults in leadership positions in the organization of the Blind
• Extensive teasing, such as leading them to a wrong classroom, hiding their white cane and their writing materials (Primary Education Pack)
• Not escorting them to the toilet
• Name Calling: For girls with albinism and low vision they face ridiculing name calling such as Zigoma: after the name of a singer with albinism or Mzungu or whitey
• Verbal abuse : belittling them suggesting no one would be interested in an affair with a blind girl

The Face of SRGBV: Low Enrolment of Visually Impaired Girls in School
There are more women with visual impairment than men, however enrolment figures obtained from an integrated education programme that Sightsavers International supports consistently show a lower enrolment of girls in primary schools. Data from 8 project districts is tabulated below:

MALAWI INTEGRATED EDUCATION PROGRAMME
ENROLMENT 2004
DISTRICT IT’s VIC BOYS VIC GIRLS VIC TOTAL
Blantyre 10 129 81 210
Lilongwe 11 140 104 244
Rumphi 8 64 64 128
Chikwawa 5 37 28 65
Zomba 6 35 39 74
Salima 5 41 30 71
Balaka 6 45 58 103
Machinga 8 65 80 145

Total 59 556 484 1040
53% 47%

The Basic Education Statistics 2005, reported national enrollment of visually impaired children in schools in 2005 to be 15490 (7), of which 7412(47%) are girls and 8078 (53%) are boys, as in the project districts supported.

Analysis of the Basic Education Statistics published for 2005 demonstrates that of the number of visually impaired girls who would have started off primary school in Standard 1, only 15% make it to the final class in primary school (Standard 8) indicating an unacceptably high level of drop outs. Although ‘lack of interest’ is indicated as the major reason contributing to high drop out, this consultation and other evidence suggests that violence against these visually impaired girls in school is a key factor in this high drop out rate. Or at least violence in schools is a major cause of the lack of interest, in other words, girls simply stop going to school because of the unsafe environment and this is interpreted as ‘ a lack of interest’ Compared to sighted girls, 25% reach the final primary school class. Compared to visually impaired boys, 31% would reach Standard 8, even beating the sighted pupils demonstrating that girls in general occupy a lower place in society. This also accentuates the fact that when a girl, is not only a girl but is also blind, the odds of her finishing her education are even more limited.

Sadly continuation to secondary school is even more dismal. Of 607 girls with visual impairment who would have completed Standard 8 in 2005, only 217 (35%) would make it to secondary school and not all of these will complete secondary school.

Factors affecting their propensity to Violence
The first obvious factor has to be the limitation caused by the disability itself that may make it more difficult for a girl with visual impairment to detect or even discern the behavior of her perpetrator. Harilyn Rousso in her paper on ‘Sexual harassment in Schools’ intimates that ‘disability – related limitations make it difficult for girls with certain disabilities, to detect and fully understand the nature of the perpetrators behaviour, and some disabilities may limit her ability to defend herself or move away from perpetrators and to report incidents of violence.(8)

The more underlying reasons however lie in the negative attitudes that girls with disability face in their day to day lives. The focus group discussion undertaken with MUB girl guides indicate that many suffer from low self-esteem and a lack of self-confidence which makes them portray a sense of helpless which in turn licenses perpetrators. For many girls such abuses start from their homes and extend to their trusted mentors such as a specialist teacher. There is no data to quantify the extent to which people in position of trust such as specialist teachers and classroom teacher, guides etc. This is mainly because the girls will lack the courage to report. Those who can talk about it are no longer in the school system.
In her paper, The Girl Child: Having to ‘Fit’, Yasmin Jiwani, Ph.D. states that ‘girls with disabilities experience higher rates of sexual abuse (at 4 times the national average) because of their dependent status, isolation, and the negative stereotypes that prevail in the dominant society. Afraid to report the abuse because of the fear of not being believed, many of these girls continue to lead lives that are jeopardized by threats and actual incidents of violence’ They are often stereotyped, thereby undermining for actors to deal with unique and specific issue different to each girl. Harilyn Rousso reports of an extreme example of a stereotypical attitude in an incident of a young woman with disability who tried to report an attempted rape, her counselor said ‘Who would want to rape YOU?’ Furthermore, it is unbelievable that in some countries some courts will not entertain allegations of sexual violence brought by blind women or girls, because of supposed difficulties in identifying the perpetrator.

Why should we address Violence against Visually Impaired girls NOW?

1) MDGs and EFA
One of the UN Millennium Development Goals adopted by the Heads of State and Government is to ensure that children everywhere, boys and girls alike, should be able to complete a full course of primary schooling by 2015. In order to achieve this goal, there is need for a 100% net enrolment and completion rates for school age children, including those with disabilities. There are far too few girls with disabilities completing school (15%). If this phenomenon is not addressed, it threatens to derail efforts by governments and other stakeholders to promote girls education and achieve 2015 Education for All (EFA) goals. Without visually impaired girls attaining an education, MDG and EFA will not be a reality for Malawi.

Girls with Disabilities are bound together by double discrimination based on gender and disability. Statistics tell us that females with disabilities are achieving less in terms of employment and socialization into the mainstream of life than men with disabilities, with the vast majority of women living in dependent and comparatively impoverished circumstances.(9) In many developing countries, there are few educational opportunities for girls with disability. When there are opportunities for education, in special schools, boys usually receive them. Therefore it is necessary to ensure that where visually impaired girls are managing to go to school as is the case in Malawi where at least 400 girls with visual impairment were attending an integrated education in 2004, concerted effort should be made by stakeholders in their education to make sure that they stay in school.

2) The time is right
There is sufficient platform provided by Women’s Rights Activism, Women Disability Rights and the UN Charter on Disabilities. These international instruments will help to accelerate the effort to address and advocate for safe environment for girls who are blind and visually impaired to go to school.

3) HIV/AIDS
In Malawi, we are racing against the deadly HIV/AIDS pandemic. Not only is the rate of HIV/AIDS among people with disabilities threatening to scourge, on account of poverty related socio economic factors and attitudes, but sadly also due to prevalent cultural beliefs that having sex with a person with a disabilities will cure or ‘cleanse’ you of AIDS. Grace Massa, chairperson of Albinism Fellowship in Malawi intimates it is a common belief that girls with albinism are the best ‘cleansers’. (10)

According to the World Bank funded Global Survey of HIV/AIDS among disabled populations(11), HIV/AIDS is a significant and almost wholly unrecognized problem among disabled populations worldwide. A growing body of literature and experience supports the notion that HIV/AIDS educational, testing and clinical programs around the world are largely inaccessible to individuals with disability.

Continued low literacy rates among disabled individuals, particularly girls present real challenges to prevention efforts. It is therefore imperative that we address the issue of a safe environment for a girl who is blind to stay in school so that she can have higher literacy rates.

What strategies can we employ?
Concrete information: Obtaining information and data is the first step towards developing appropriate responses and services. It has been acknowledge that there is insufficient information in this important area. We need to undertake studies specifically addressing Violence against Girls with Disabilities and specifically with visual impairment because there are unique aspects to visual impairment.

Challenging stereotypes: through community education, youth projects and media campaigns. In particular challenging “the almost universal belief that disabled people cannot be a reliable witness on their own behalf.” (12)

Raising awareness: of the adverse effect SRGBV has on a girl who is blind to the various audiences that we have access to.

Empowerment Programmes specifically designed to empower girls who are blind and visually impaired. Many state that they fail to report incidents of violence because they were shy. Therefore, programmes to improve the assertiveness of girls are necessary.

However, shyness sometimes comes about because the reporting procedures themselves are not conducive. Therefore, advocating for the establishment of ‘safe pathways’ or procedures that encourages girls who are blind to report incidents of violence.

Advocacy & Coalition Building – by remaining alert on SRGBV issues and participating in the wider advocacy arena, we can influence changes in legislation, school practice and curricula aimed at stopping violence against girls and we will have opportunity to add a voice regarding the girl who is blind. Joining established ‘voices’ or platforms such as the Civil Society Coalition will add credibility and muscle to our voice. Going it alone is unnecessary and expensive. However for us to participate in this advocacy effort we need to bring a body of evidence to the table, hence the need for professional research in this area.

Motivation & Role Models – What would be the point of going to school if there no hope of you getting employment or engaging in meaningful pursuits? There is a role that role models can play. In this regards, the few girls who are blind and have completed their education and are participating meaningfully and interdependently in society need to be involved in programmes to reach the younger blind girls and talk to them about what career options they have. In this regard most of the key informants to this interview are in that category. They have demonstrated that they are not passive victims of harassment and violence. Theirs are stories that also need to be told.

(1) CSCQBE report 2005
(2) The Girl Child: Having to Fit by Yasmin Jiwani 19998.
(3) The FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Girls and Women
(4) Sexual Harassment in School, An invisible issue for Girls and Young Women with Disabilities, Harilyn Rouso
(5) Disabled Women and violence Fact sheet, B.F. Waxman Fiduccia
(6) Study Report: Violence Against Girls in School by University of Malawi, Centre for Social Research
(7) Education Basic Statistics Malawi 2005, ME&HRD Statistics Unit, Page 33
(8) Harilyn Rousso, Sexual Harassment in Schools: An invisible Issue for Girls and Young Women with Disabilities
(9) Having a Daughter With a Disability: Is it Different For Girls? An extract from news Digest
(10) Newspaper article, Grace Massa, Chairperson of Albino Association in Malawi
(11) Groce N. Global Survey on HIV/AIDS and Disability. The World Bank/Yale University. April 2004. http://circa.med.yale.edu/globalsurvey
(12) Nosek MA, Howland CA, Hughes RB. The investigation of abuse and women with disabilities: going beyond assumptions. Violence Against Women2001; 7:477-99.

_________________________________

We Can Do first received this paper via the Disability Information Dissemination Network, which is sponsored by Sightsavers International. If you wish to receive papers like this one directly, you can subscribe to the CSID mailing list by sending an email to csid@bdmail.net or csid@bdonline.com and putting the word “join” in the subject line.


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