UNHCR’s Special Projects for the Empowerment of Refugee women with disabilities WLL Women Leading Livelihoods Division of External Relations www.unhcr.org/wll - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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UNHCR’s Special Projects for the Empowerment of Refugee women with disabilities WLL Women Leading Livelihoods Division of External Relations www.unhcr.org/wll

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Title: UNHCR’s Special Projects for the Empowerment of Refugee women with disabilities WLL Women Leading Livelihoods Division of External Relations www.unhcr.org/wll


1
UNHCRs Special Projects for the Empowerment of
Refugee women with disabilities WLL Women
Leading Livelihoods Division of External
Relations www.unhcr.org/wll
2
Scope
  • Estimate 10 of worlds population living with
    disabilities
  • 650 million persons with disabilities worldwide
  • Women 50 of the human population
  • Minimum 300 million women with disabilities
    worldwide, 240 million living in developing
    countries.
  • Women with disabilities facing multiple
    discrimination

3
Displacement and Women with Disabilities
  • Up to 3.5 million displaced people with
    disabilities
  • With displaced women with a disability the number
    of effected circle gets doubled

4
Before Fleeing Persecution
  • The ratio of 1/10 gets much higher up to 1 / 5 in
    situations of civil conflict, natural disasters,
    wars
  • Serious injuries (landmines, clusterbombs,
    natural disasters, wars)
  • Disruptions to health care systems
  • Disruptions to school/ social support systems
  • Double discrimination in job market
  • No skills training or employment opportunities
    for women with disabilities

"I walked into the house with a big bag of wild
thyme my father had picked. When I reached into
the bag I saw a dark thing. It startled me. I
dropped it and it blew up." says Rasha, a
displaced cluster bomb victim in South Lebanon.
5
While Running Away for their right to life
  • People with disabilities may not survive the run
    for life
  • Women with disabilities or with children / family
    members / husbands with disabilities get double
    restrained
  • Often left behind
  • Seen as a burden obstructing others flight
  • Less able to flee / Locked away so can not run
    away
  • Exposed to physical and sexual abuse during
    flight

6
Once displaced / a refugee
  • It does not mean once disabled people become a
    refugee, they reach safety
  • Disabled refugees face a double
    vulnerabilityoften the last to receive food,
    water and careand, in many situations, viewed as
    a burden to be left behind. Sadako Ogata, former
    UN High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Hidden, marginalized and socially excluded
  • Literally and programmatically invisible

7
Refugee Women with Disabilities
  • Displaced women with disabilities are triply
    marginalized by status, disability and gender
  • In most cultures, they are seen as a shame a
    sin
  • More exposed to sexual violence, domestic abuse
    and physical assault (ie. Afghan girl)
  • Women as primary caregivers face increased
    workloads, isolation, discrimination and abuse
    (ie. Iraqi Kurdish woman)
  • Mothers are blamed for childs disability and
    face physical or sexual abuse and abandonment
  • No information about rights or available services
    in the host countries
  • No opportunities for livelihood

A disabled refugee woman waiting for daily food
ration
8
Background to UNHCR Projects
  • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with
    Disabilities
  • Global Change from medical to social inclusive
    human rights perspective
  • New UNHCR Policies - both human resources as well
    as operational)
  • Division of External Relations / Inclusion of
    disabilities in WLL projects with specific focus
    on empowerment integration of refugee women
    with disabilities
  • WLL being part of private sector partnerships
    (ie. WIN platfirm..)
  • Incorporation of disability services to the
    existing programmes
  • Some successful community based programmes once
    refugee women given a chance (ie. Saharawi Women
    with disabilities / senate...)
  • Women with disabilities want to learn new skills
    and find jobs

9
Vision
  • If we want to empower disability communities
    support their self-sustained independence
  • Start with the most forgotten and vulnerable
    layer in refugee communities as One UN
  • Under WLL concrete projects for refugee women
    leading livelihoods, our ongoing talks with ILO
    and ready for more interagency partnership
  • Use all possible Interagency platforms such as
    CAF processes on certain humanitarian crisis (ie.
    Iraq)
  • Every Agency brings their expertise through an
    expert roster as well as funding
  • VISIT www.unhcr.org / WLL women leading
    livelihood projects page

10
Recommended Read Refs
  • "Gendering the Convention" as per Disabled
    People's International Canada- paper presented
    in Berlin last year
  • UNHCRs RefWorld website (UNHCRs knowledge tool)
  • UNHCR's New Policies (internal operational),
  • Women's Commission for Refugee Women Children's
    assessment for UNHCR (7 pilot countries - June
    2008) the Resource Kit on "Disabilities Among
    Refugees and Conflict Affected Populations"
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