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Let Me Decide and Thrive: Global discrimination and exclusion of girls and young women with disabilities

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Girls with disabilities are kept in the dark about their sexual and reproductive health and often don’t know how to protect themselves against abuse, pregnancy and disease. This report highlights the perfect storm of discrimination faced by girls with disabilities, which leaves many of them totally unaware of their rights.

While the discriminatory hurdles posed by gender, youth or disability alone can be great, this report reveals that when all three come together they intensify the negative effects of exclusion. As a consequence, girls and young women with disabilities face significant obstacles to the full realisation of their rights, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

The Let Me Decide and Thrive Research Report explores diverse existing materials on this subject and adds a first-hand vantage point gleaned from its in-depth qualitative research in three countries, Cambodia, Paraguay and Zambia. The research was commissioned by Plan International and conducted by the International Solutions Group as part of an ongoing collaboration between Plan International and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar, to promote and protect the SRHR of girls and young women with disabilities.

The report provides an overview of regional and international legal frameworks and trends, country-specific case studies, as well as concrete recommendations.