On the right hand top: Rising Flame and Sightsavers logos. On the left top in blue lettering is the title of the report - Neglected and Forgotten: Women with disabilities during the COVID crisis in India. On the remaining space on the page are six figures. Below the text is a woman dressed in a yellow saree in a wheelchair. Walking away from her - with their backs to her - are five people. One is dressed in white and a blue overcoat; one is dressed in a salwar with a small bag; another two in pants and shirt and one person in a lungi. There are all wearing face masks and are at a distance from each other.
Source: Cover Page of the Report

Rising Flame, a nonprofit organisation work based in India, working for recognition, protection, and promotion of human rights of People with Disabilities, has published a joint report in collaboration with Sightsavers, an international organisation working with partners in more than 30 countries to eliminate avoidable blindness and fight for the rights and needs of people with disability.

The report was launched on July 14, 2020, in the presence of Deputy Country Representative, UNWOMEN, Disabled people’s organisations, women’s rights organisations, civil society actors and press.

Neglected and Forgotten: Women with Disabilities During the COVID Crisis in India Report Launch Event

The report is titled ‘Neglected and Forgotten: Women with Disabilities During the COVID Crisis in India’ and “aims to amplify voices and narratives of women with disabilities in an effort to ensure that they are not left behind in policy, systemic and societal responses in the current times.”

The research was led by disabled people themselves, namely Nidhi Goyal (Founder and Executive Director, Rising Flame), Srinidhi Raghavan (Senior programs consultant, Rising Flame) and Ketan Kothari (Advocacy manager, Sightsavers). For the purpose of the research, the team carried out online and telephonic research consultations in May 2020. The research saw participation from 82 women with disabilities and 12 experts across 19 states of India, along with nine self-identified disability groups.

Image Description: Sightsavers logo in the top left corner and the Rising Flame logo in the top right.
1st horizontal stripe- (beige with dark blue lettering) Neglected and Forgotten: Women with disabilities during the COVID crisis
in India
2nd horizontal stripe-(teal green with three navy blue circles with white lettering)
Circle 1: 82 women with disabilities
Circle 2: 46% small towns and rural areas
Circle 3: 19 Indian states represented
Below the circles: participant profiles
3rd stripe-(beige background, 3 images, black Text)
Discrimination and inadequacy in access
Image 1: thought and speech bubbles
Text below: communication
Image 2: 50 rupee note
Text below: social protection
Image 3: House depiction with a shirt, syringe, and apple inside
Text below: food and essentials
4th horizontal stripe- (teal green with 4 images and dark blue lettering)
Women and young girls reported discrimination in accessing their education, work and lack of support in cases of domestic
violence and for their emotional well being
4 images above text
Girl studying, black and white, she is sitting on her knees (denoting education)
Women dressed in a hat and scarf holding a basket (denoting employment)
Pink circle with the symbol for woman and a fist, and the circle has been crossed out (denoting gender violence)
Picture of a heart between two open palms (for emotional wellbeing)
5th horizontal stripe-(navy blue, beige wording)
6th stripe-( beige background, 3 images, black text)
3 pictures each with text below
Image 1: picture of a coloured woman with curly hair, dark glasses, and a cane, holding her hand up in an empowering pose
Text: Women with disabilities in leadership on disaster management
Image 2: Hand holding a loudspeaker, in blue
text: Nondiscrimination as per rights of persons with disabilities act
Image 3: 4 different hands holding each other, each reflecting a different skin tone
text: Build back better with disability inclusion
Executive summary of the research, as presented in the report

The study is divided into access, food and essentials, social protection, health, hygiene and sanitation, education, employment and livelihood, domestic violence and emotional well-being. It “explores the ongoing barriers experienced by women across disabilities and makes recommendations to build back a better and more inclusive world.”

The key recommendations of the report “cover immediate needs, recommendations over the thematic areas, and also towards a disability and gender-inclusive disaster management policy. Overall, women across disabilities, including those from underrepresented groups such as Deaf women, deafblind women, women with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities, across age groups, those living in remote and rural areas as well as those experiencing multiple or intersectional discrimination must be included in leadership and decision-making capacities, in policy, planning and execution of COVID-19 responses.”

We congratulate and commend the efforts of both the teams for this insightful and important research. And we hope that the recommendations will be considered by the stakeholders.

You can download the full report here: PDF, Word.