Teased, denied, looked down upon, spoken about instead of spoken to, they experience the combined disadvantages associated with gender as well as disability. Dignity as a right, a far reality for most women with disabilities (WwDs) irrespective of class, caste & place of stay. Additionally, for many is the denial of exercising legal capacity under many domestic laws.
WwDs live an invisible existence on the fringes of all political, economic, socio, and cultural fronts due to the stigma and prejudice. Further mainstreaming is hindered by the absence of well coordinated government policies and low awareness of rights. Additionally, reach gets limited with the major population living in rural areas.
Women with Disabilities India Network (WWDIN) is the only Network in India which has been formed to address the issues of accessibility, health, education, employment/work and discrimination faced by the girls and women with disabilities in India. In collabration with national and international networks and agencies it has been taking up advocacy initiatives to empower them and support them to avail their rights.
Since November 2012, WWDIN has organized sensitization meetings & workshops in :
- Manipur to discuss issues of violence against women in conflict regions
- Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry to get a feedback of women’s issues in rural areas
- Karnataka on issues of violence at workplace
- Maharashtra on issues related to women with psycho-social disabilities (mental illness) the issues of forced sterilization of WWD, usage of ECT without consent
- Andhra Pradesh on women who are deaf blind, face violence due to forced sterilization
- Odisha, Bihar and Chhattisgarh to interact with women from indigenous groups and violence due to displacement, issues of trafficking and destruction of livelihood
- West Bengal on violence against women with intellectual disabilities