Launch of the W-DARE Community Report

The W-DARE team is proud to share the following report: “Women with Disability taking Action on REproductive and sexual health (W-DARE) – A summary of initial findings and pilot interventions”.  

A description of the report from the Executive Summary is below:

“This report summarises initial findings of a disability-inclusive, participatory action research project conducted in Quezon City in Metro Manila and Ligao City in Albay province, involving women with disability and SRH service providers across all stages of the research. Researchers in the Philippines and Australia are leading the project, in partnership with Philippines-based DPOs, SRH providers and other academic institutions.

The international collaboration has strengthened the rigor of the research, and ensured that our approach is informed by local and international expertise on gender, disability, SRH and protection from violence. Our local partners and advisory group have ensured that the research has remained culturally and contextually appropriate for the Philippines. The local women with disability and the DPOs involved in W-DARE have provided valuable insights, expertise, networks and experience throughout.

Our initial findings highlight the considerable challenges faced by women and girls with disability to maintain their SRH, including barriers to accessing SRH information and services, denial of women’s capacity and rights to marriage and motherhood, and high rates of violence and abuse of women and girls with disability. Families of women with disability can play a key role in facilitating positive SRH outcomes for women with disability, but where there is discrimination and abuse can also undermine the SRH of women with disability. Families often act as ‘gatekeepers’ to community for women with disability, controlling access to the wider world, including relevant health and support services. Pervasive and underlying prejudice and discrimination towards women with disability has a considerable negative impact on the

SRH of women with disability, informing the behaviour and attitudes of SRH service providers, families, partners and carers of women with disability, and members of the community towards the SRH of women with disability. W-DARE has begun implementing a range of interventions, targeting barriers to SRH information and services, including services providing protection from violence, for women with disability.

Evaluation of these initiatives will inform the development of disability-inclusive, gender-sensitive guidelines for the provision of SRH services to women with disability in the Philippines, and will have relevance to the wider health sector, and to other settings in the Asia Pacific region.”

You can view and download the report from the following link: W-DARE report – A summary of initial findings and pilot interventions

W-DARE is led by researchers from the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (the Nossal Institute for Global Health and the Centre for Health Equity) at the University of Melbourne and researchers the Social Development Research Center at De La Salle University, Manila. Project partners work in the disability, SRH, and gender fields, and include the DPOs WOWLEAP and PARE, the non-government SRH service provider Likhaan Center for Women’s Health, and the Center for Women’s Studies (CWS) at the University of the Philippines.

The W-DARE research team and partner organisations would like to thank the Local Government Units of Quezon City and Ligao City who have provided outstanding support which we gratefully acknowledge. We would also like to thank our Advisory Group in the Philippines and our international Advisory Group for the considerable expertise that they have contributed to the project.

Finally, we would like to express our enormous gratitude to the women and girls with disability, and the thousands of other individuals, that participated in this research. Our thanks also go to the organisations and institutions that made this possible. This research is a direct result of your generosity and commitment to improving the sexual and reproductive health of women and girls with disabilities in your communities.

Salamat po!

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