Skip to content

Bridging the Gap presents its Gender Capitalisation Study at an online workshop

Snapshot of the session: an slide on what has been done, the speaker, and the sign language interpreter

On 12 November, Bridging the Gap II (BtG-II) organised the international online workshopAchieving inclusion of women with disabilities: the experience of Bridging the Gap” to present the results of the project’s Gender Capitalization Study ‘The Empowerment of Women and Girls with Disabilities. A Compilation of Implemented Activities and Identified Best Practices 2018-2020’, share relevant practices worth to be replicated and discuss concrete ways and opportunities to enhance the inclusion of women and girls with disabilities.

In the first part of the workshop, Cristina López Mayher, the BtG-II Gender Capitalisation coordinator, presented the study’s main findings, a compilation of activities and best practices developed by BtG-II between 2018 and 2020. This study has been developed with the collaboration of four field experts, Magdalena Orlando in Ecuador and Paraguay, Michela Lugiai in Sudan, Fatimata Sinare in Burkina Faso, and Semhal Getachew in Ethiopia, and aims to contribute to the achievement of gender equality and the inclusion of women and girls with disabilities by strengthening BtG-II’s work at the global and local levels.

The second part of the workshop hosted a round-table moderated by the Advisor Gender and Development of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), Christina Stummer and fuelled by an extraordinary panel of women composed of Ana Peláez Narváez, member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women; Evelyne Hien Winkoun, president of the National Union of Women with Disability (UNAFEHB) in Burkina Faso; Shitaye Astawes, National Coordinator Bridging the Gap II in Ethiopia at the Austrian Development Agency; Magdalena Orlando, Expert in inclusion and field study in Ecuador and Paraguay; and Raqma Mustafa, Technical advisor for the National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) in Sudan.

The panellists discussed concrete ways and opportunities to enhance the consideration and inclusion of women and girls with disabilities in development cooperation and concluded by stressing the need for an intersectoral approach and the importance of combining it with a disability perspective. “If we want to protect the rights of women and girls with disabilities, we need to ensure that their voices are heard and they are included in the socio-economic decision-making process at leadership level”, was the common message highlighted.

Inclusion of women with disabilities in Bridging the Gap II

According to UN Women, the average prevalence rate in the female population of 18 years and older is 19.2 per cent, compared to 12 per cent for males, representing about 1 in 5 women. Besides being at greater risk of violence and marginalisation, women regularly experience inequality in hiring, promotion rates and pay for equal work, access to education, training and retraining, credit and other productive resources, and rarely participate in socio-economic decision-making. These forms of discriminations are exacerbated for women and girls with disabilities who too often experience double discrimination which places them at higher risk of gender-based violence, sexual abuse, neglect, maltreatment and exploitation.

In this framework, gender mainstreaming becomes a crucial cross-cutting dimension and indeed, since the beginning of BtG-II, the project conducted several activities to increase women and girls with disabilities’ leadership, recognition, participation, and empowerment by ensuring their access to education, work and services. For BtG-II, working with the lenses of gender perspective has been a natural and efficient way of achieving human rights goals to leave no one behind, tackling the structural causes of inequality.

Workshop’s resources available to download: