The Power of Disabled Women Activists

Two women in manual wheelchairs holding hands up in the air, one from Indonesia, the other from Bangladesh
Women with disabilities are one of the most marginalized, under-served populations in the world, yet they offer tremendous potential for leadership and the ability to transform communities.

There are many ways development organizations can ensure women with disabilities are included. Here are five starting points.

  1. Develop partnerships or relationships with disabled women’s groups and disabled women leaders.
  2. Involve women with disabilities in all policy, program design, and decision making processes, and at every level of the projects: as staff, consultants, participants, and evaluators.
  3. Include women with disabilities as teachers or leaders of development programs to inspire the girls and other women with disabilities. Highlight the role of disabled women in your organization and services through positive, active visual images.
  4. Understand the twin track approach and promote the strategy of infiltration.
  5. Outreach and inclusion of women with disabilities should be an integral part of your organizational values, policy and practice.

Taking these steps can break the strong links between poverty and disability. You can be a champion for inclusion of women and girls with disabilities in the life-enhancing and life-saving development programs that are changing their communities.