More than 15% of the world’s population are affected by disability, including physical and sensory impairments, developmental and intellectual disability and psychosocial disability. While it goes without saying that people with disability have equal rights to sexual and reproductive desires and hopes as non-disabled people, society has disregarded their sexuality and reproductive concerns, aspirations and human rights. People with disabilities are infantilised and held to be asexual (or in some cases, hypersexual), incapable of reproduction and unfit sexual/marriage partners or parents. The sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of people with disabilities continue to be contested, and there are particular concerns in relation to women with disabilities. For women, disability often means exclusion from a life of femininity, partnership, active sexuality and denial of opportunities for motherhood.
To truly empower all people with disabilities and ensure their SRHR, it is vital to act to end the remaining silences. And journals such as SRHM have a crucial role to play in this.
SRHM’s activities in this area are divided into KNOWLEDGE, INFLUENCE and CAPACITY-BUILDING.
SRHM journal issue: Disability and sexuality: claiming sexual and reproductive rights – 25(50):2017
Alimata Thelma Flora Abdul Karimu. Disabled persons in Ghanaian health strategies: reflections on the 2016 adolescent reproductive health policy – 26(54):2018
Badu E, Gyamfi N, Opoku M et al. Enablers and barriers in accessing sexual and reproductive health services among visually impaired women in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions of Ghana – 26(54): 2018
Addlakha R, Price J, Heidari S. Disability and sexuality: claiming sexual and reproductive rights – 25(50):2017
Peta P. Disability is not asexuality: the childbearing experiences and aspirations of women with disability in Zimbabwe – 25(50):2017
Wisdom Kwadwo Mprah, Patricia Anafi & Paul Yaw Addai Yeaboah. Exploring misinformation of family planning practices and methods among deaf people in Ghana – 25(50):2017
Gartrell A, Baesel K, Becker B. “We do not dare to love”: women with disabilities’ sexual and reproductive health and rights in rural Cambodia – 25(50):2017
Burke E, Kébé F, Flink I, et al. A qualitative study to explore the barriers and enablers for young people with disabilities to access sexual and reproductive health services in Senegal – 25(50):2017
Devine A, Ignacio R, Prenter K, et al. “Freedom to go where I want”: improving access to sexual and reproductive health for women with disabilities in the Philippines – 25(50):2017
Nampewo Z. Young women with disabilities and access to HIV/AIDS interventions in Uganda – 25(50):2017
Hunt X, Carew MT, Hellum Braathen S, et al. The sexual and reproductive rights and benefit derived from sexual and reproductive health services of people with physical disabilities in South Africa: beliefs of non-disabled people – 25(50):2017
Owojuyigbe M, Bolorunduro M-E & Busari D. Female genital mutilation as sexual disability: perceptions of women and their spouses in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria – 25(50):2017
Jaramillo Ruiz F. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its take on sexuality – 25(50):2017
Rothler R. Disability rights, reproductive technology, and parenthood: unrealised opportunities – 25(50):2017
Alexander N, Taylor Gomez M. Pleasure, sex, prohibition, intellectual disability, and dangerous ideas – 25(50):2017
Abdul Karimu A. Exploring the sexual and reproductive health issues of visually impaired women in Ghana – 25(50):2017
Shapiro L. The disabled sexual surrogate – 25(50):2017
Goyal N. Denial of sexual rights: insights from lives of women with visual impairment in India – 25(50):2017
Breckenridge J. Poems of desire and (dis)ability – 25(50):2017
Sins Invalid Skin, Tooth, and Bone – The Basis of Movement is Our People: A Disability Justice Primer – 25(50):2017
CALL FOR PAPERS
We accept papers on a continuous basis to our open issue from a range of topics within the sexual and reproductive health and rights field. We also accept a wide range of article types, from full research reports to short commentaries, perspectives and book reviews.
Dialogue and advocacy
Forum on SRHR and Disability during the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25
This-Ability Trust, in partnership with Sexual Reproductive Health Matters and Humanity & Inclusion’s Making it Work project, with support from the United Nations Population Fund and the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi, organized a one day consultative forum to deliberate the sexual and reproductive health rights of women with disabilities in Nairobi, Kenya on November 11, 2019 .
The pre-ICPD Forum presented a joint commitment towards advancing the sexual and reproductive health rights of all persons with disability, with special attention to women and girls with disability, and worked towards the elaboration of a Call to Action in line with the priority areas for ICPD25. The forum highlighted the unique discrimination faced by women with disabilities, especially in relation to universal sexual and reproductive health coverage for women and girls with disabilities, eliminating violence against women with disabilities, and addressing the needs of those who are in most vulnerable situation, including those living in humanitarian settings. Read more
Together: Ensuring SRHR of women and girls with disabilities: how to tackle multiple discrimination and inequalities
SRHM’s regional partner, CREA, organised a strategic meeting on disability and SRHR at the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at the UN to discuss advocacy spaces on promoting SRHR of people with disability. The (S)RHM themed issue on Disabilty and Sexuality was highlighted at the event, and was promoted at the sessions of the CRPD Committee. The side event was co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of Ethiopia, Antigua and Barbuda, OHCHR, UN Women, International Disability Alliance (IDA), International Disability and Development Consortium (IDDC), Center for Reproductive Rights, CREA, Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre India (SMRC), Handicap International, Inclusion International, Light for the World, Lumos Foundation, Reproductive Health Matters and Women Enabled International.
IMAGERY, VISIBILITY AND DISABILITY by Lizzie Kiama, Founding Director at This-Ability
SRHM provides mentoring to researchers, advocates, policy makers, service providers and other SRHR professionals, especially those from the global South, to bring their analysis and writing to peer-reviewed publication standard in service of improving dissemination of quality research and analysis on SRHR, with a strong focus on rights perspectives and with particular attention to the needs and rights of most marginalized people. SRHM encourages researchers to continue submitting articles on SRHR and disability.
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