FACICP Disability Plus has launched the Multi Stakeholders Guidelines for mainstreaming Women with Disabilities, WWDs, into Gender Based Violence, GBV and COVID Interventions.
The guidelines which was produced by FACICP with support from Mobility International, USA, is aimed at addressing the current disability gaps that exists in the response to GBV in the COVID 19 Pandemic.
While giving a remark at the launch, Ms. Ekaete Judith Umoh, Executive Director, FACICP Disability Plus disclosed that, FACICP had conducted a baseline survey on the GBV Experiences of WWDs in Nigeria during COVID-19 and it revealed the gaps and challenges that WWDs encountered during the lockdown.
“The paucity of credible evidence with regards to the GBV experiences of women and girls with disabilities especially in less developed countries like Nigeria, as well as the absence of other relevant data could be a great barrier to the effective inclusion of WWDs in major GBV interventions particularly in an emergency situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This was the reason we decided to produce a guideline which can serve as a template for all actors to mainstream WWDs in GBV interventions,” Umoh added.
Presenting the guidelines, Dr. Adebukola Adebayo, Disability Inclusion Expert said that “the guidelines are targeted at critical stakeholders whose roles are identified as very significant in ensuring the inclusion of WWDs in COVID and GBV interventions.
“These stakeholders whose roles have been acknowledged in several credible local and international studies include – the family, community, organizations of persons with disabilities and women with disabilities, Mainstream and Gender-Focused Civil Society Organizations, the media, national and subnational governments and international development organizations.”
Speaking to the roles of the various stakeholders, Dr. Adebayo revealed that, “the stakeholders can either prevent GBV from happening or protect WWDs from being victims.”
He noted that, “Families must learn to take collective responsibility to identify, expose and punish any member(s) of the family who perpetrate any form of GBV against WWDs.
“Organizations of WWDs should collaborate with other stakeholders to support strategic and sustainable empowerment for WWDs in order to reduce their dependency and lessen their socio-economic vulnerability and their exposure to GBV.
“The media should strengthen capacity to mainstream disability-inclusion in all its activities including those which focus on women, GBV and other related activities. Such capacity strengthening strategies should also encourage use of disability-inclusion appropriate languages and projection of WWDs in positive lights.”
Significantly, he noted that, “Government has the responsibility to make relevant laws and policies to deal with crises of GBV. As such, governments at all levels should ensure that all GBV laws, policies and programs, including those implemented to address the COVID-19 and other humanitarian emergencies in Nigeria are sensitive to the concerns of WWDs.
“The technical, human and institutional capacities of all GBV-relevant MDAs of government at all levels should be strengthened such that they are able to respond to issues and concerns of WWDs, as well as ensure that all GBV and COVID-19 interventions are accessible to WWDs.”
The guideline can be downloaded here.
Members of the GBV-Monitoring and Advocacy Partnership, GBV-MAP, setup by FACICP Disability Plus were in attendance at the virtual launch of the guideline.