UNESCO Supports Development of a Guide on Mainstreaming Disability in the Prevention of Violence Against Women in Zimbabwe
The UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa within the Spotlight Initiative supported Deaf Women Included (DWI) to develop a guide for practitioners on mainstreaming disability in the prevention of and response to violence against women with disabilities in Zimbabwe.
The evidence based guide is informed by the community dialogues and trainings on gender based violence (GBV) that Deaf Women Included coordinated in six Spotlight Initiative districts as well as their work with women and girls with disabilities in the fight against gender-based violence. The guide seeks to complement the UNESCO toolkit for change on Harmful cultural beliefs and practices, stigma and discrimination towards women and girls with disabilities.
It is meant to support service providers, researchers and professionals that work in fighting violence against women and girls in Zimbabwe to gain a better understanding of disability, especially in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. As cases of GBV rise against the background of the COVID-19 pandemic induced difficulties, the need to reach out to women and girls with disabilities through inclusive services has never been more important.
Commenting on the guide, DWI Executive Director Agness Chindimba expressed optimism that the guide would help transform responses aimed at preventing violence against women with disabilities in Zimbabwe.
“We are hoping that through our experiences, detailed in this guide, services can transform to be responsive, accessible, and inclusive for women and girls with disabilities. This is quite important for us during this COVID-19 pandemic which has led to an increase in cases of gender-based violence in Zimbabweans and globally,” DWI Executive Director Agness Chindimba.
She also expressed her gratitude to UNESCO for partnering Deaf Women Included and other Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) in implementing the Spotlight Initiative and ensuring that women and girls with disabilities are also included in the fight against GBV.
Key areas addressed in the guide include fighting disability stigma and discrimination, planning for inclusive services as well as accessible help lines. The guide shall be used in future community dialogues with community leaders as well as service providers to ensure that all services become accessible as well as disability inclusive. It has also been translated into Shona, Ndebele and Sign language to ensure accessibility and easy understanding for all.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).