Disability Inclusion in Programming to End Violence against Women and Girls: Lessons from Civil Society Organizations supported by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

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Disability Inclusion in Programming to End Violence against Women and Girls: Lessons from Civil Society Organizations supported by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women
Author(s)/editor(s)
Dr. Selina Palm and Dr. Elisabet Le Roux

In 2023, the UN Trust Fund published the first of three papers on disability, inclusion and intersectionality. This pulled together the practice-based insights from projects funded through the UN Trust Fund’s Special Window to end violence against women and girls with disabilities (WGWD).  

The second paper, published in January 2024, highlighted that grantees’ programming had four cross-cutting impacts: increased visibility of WGWD; transformed mindsets; systemic thinking; and capacitating through resources.  

The final paper expands critical reflection on work to end violence against WGWD by drawing on the experience of 62 projects funded by the UN Trust Fund that identified women and girls with disabilities as primary beneficiaries.  

Main findings:  

The study highlighted four pathways that grantees funded under both the Special and General Windows used to engage with WGWD in their projects to end violence against women and girls: 

  • Grantees who worked with WGWD as part of their wider strategy to reach women and girls in general as primary beneficiaries (inclusion pathways):
  1. engaging women and girls in general in their work to end violence against women and girls, and identifying WGWD as a primary beneficiary group;
  2. engaging a few marginalized groups of women and girls in their programming;  
  • Grantees who worked specifically with WGWD as their sole primary beneficiaries (disability-specific pathways):  
  1. engaging women and girls with all types of disability as the only primary beneficiaries; 
  2. engaging with women and girls with one or two specific types of disability, for example hearing or sight impairments, or mobility issues, as the only primary beneficiaries.  

These pathways are not hierarchical: the right way to engage with WGWD is context-specific and related to organizational expertise and positioning.  

Five overarching meta-insights were identified:  

  1. Partnering for collaboration is essential for ending violence against WGWD. 
  2. Addressing disability-related stigma and discrimination is a cross-cutting task. 
  3. Participation of WGWD is crucial, as is recognizing the complexity of inclusion.  
  4. Engaging with legal and policy systems is vital for addressing violence against WGWD in the long term.  
  5. Being adaptive is key for effective programming for WGWD. 

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Bibliographic information

Resource type(s): Learning
Publication year
2024