The Impacts of COVID-19 on Women with Disabilities

Updated: December 2020

In October 2020, Nepal Disabled Women Association (NDWA) produced voter education videos on the impact of COVID-19 on women with disabilities with support from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The videos detail women with disabilities' access to fundamental human rights and provide suggestions to offer more inclusive relief. The video is attached below in English.  


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Narrator: Women with disabilities may face more discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic as a woman and as a person with disabilities. Due to a lack of accessible health and hygiene materials, including women’s menstrual supplies, face masks, soap, toilet paper, or hand sanitizer their health is at increased risk during the pandemic compared to other people. Because of this, relief materials provided by the related agencies should also include health and hygiene supplies for women and persons with disabilities.


Women with disabilities also often are not provided with accessible information on the pandemic, in formats such as braille, sign language and easy to read guides, meaning they may not always have the correct information on COVID-19. All news and information published and broadcast by the government should be made accessible for persons with disabilities.


Isolation and quarantine centers may not be accessible for persons with disabilities. This may add stress and anxiety to women with disabilities, affecting their mental wellbeing. Isolation and quarantine centers should be made accessible and arrangements made to provide counseling services for women with disabilities.


The rights of women with disabilities to access all services provided by the government without discrimination should be safeguarded. To ensure the needs of women with disabilities are met and their rights protected, we need to continuously engage, support and advocate with elected representatives and government agencies for an inclusive COVID-19 response. For the access and inclusion of women with disabilities, let us all work together to build a society based on justice and inclusion for all.


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