Disability Considerations in GBV Programming during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Author: Emma Pearce


This note provides information and practical guidance to support gender-based violence (GBV) practitioners to integrate attention to disability into GBV prevention, risk mitigation and response efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. This document complements other resources relating to GBV and COVID-19 and assumes that the user is already familiar with common GBV prevention, risk mitigation and response approaches. It should be considered a “living” document; given the evolving nature of the pandemic, it may be adapted as more evidence relating to disability, GBV and COVID-19 becomes available.

COVID-19 presents added risks to women and girls, in all their diversity. The GBV community is being challenged to re-think programming and service delivery systems as governments put in place strategies to contain, delay and / or mitigate the spread of the disease. More inclusive GBV prevention and risk mitigation efforts, as well as remote case management support, can improve access for women and girls with disabilities and female caregivers of persons with disabilities. As such, there is an opportunity to take lessons learned from this crisis and use them to strengthen disability inclusion in GBV programming in the longer term.