Dissemination of study report on Sexual and reproductive health rights for persons with disabilities and launching of accessible IEC materials.
This post was published on: February 2, 2020
Date: 27th December,2019
A historic event on disability and SRHR was conducted on 27th December,2019. This event was a multi sector event where everyone was gathered to know about the findings and outcomes of the study. Cross disability involved intersectionality to understand about the issues that they are facing in terms of SRHR and family planning. This event was organized by Blind Youth Association Nepal where thematic organization from 5 disabilities i.e. CIL, PFPID, Autism care Nepal society and SHRUTI had put their stalls representing their organization along with books and materials. The main objective of putting up stalls was to aware participants about different types of disability and to aware about the works that they do.
This program was in augurarted by honorable minister Bhanubhakta Dakal from health and population ministry. He mentioned that these kind of program play a important role for PWDs. He said” I have come here as representative from the health and population ministry. We will play an effective role to put your concerns and implement it. This document is for everyone and we will try to make this accessible for everyone.”
The first part of the program was the dissemination of study reports
The study report focused on existing laws and provisions along with international conventions such as UN CRPD,ICPD, SDG, etc which were also revised to see whether disability perspective has also been included or not especially SRHR provisions. In addition to it IEC materials developed by government are also not sufficient and in accessible format for person with disabilities.
Furthermore PWDs are deprived of health services due to various discrimination and superstitious beliefs that are existing in the society. International conventions like CRPD and SDG are progressive and inclusive and along with this ICPD also have included SRHR rights. There is no provision for collecting health information for PWDs and LGBTQI by government. In addition to it collecting data for census should also be disability inclusive. Furthermore private sectors, service providers and stakeholders should provide service without any discrimination and government should also pressurize for disability friendly services.
Furthermore the various experts from disability and SRHR provided their critical comments with following points.
- This report is quite relevant. This kind of study has not been done before. Every human being is sexual and PWDs are not exceptional.
- Theoretical perspective would have made this report more significant and better.
- Detail discussion on topics such as safe motherhood and abortion have not been carried out.
- As women are more vulnerable to sexual abuse this report is lacking to detail the issue of women.
- General secretary of NFDN has emphasized on making separate disability or division under the government because the current focal unit Leprosy control and disability management section is not sufficient to cover the whole disability section.
- Any IEC material that are developed by stakeholders should also be inclusive or accessible for PWDs for learning or disability.
The second presentation was on project implementation, result and learning where a progress report was shared and highlighted the project outcome, learning and information from the need assessment survey which states that IEC materials are not accessible. The demand side from PWDs are low whereas the supply side is high and these supply side are also not disability friendly and they lack process and guidelines.
Another highlight of the program was the launching of IEC materials and videos on sign language. The inauguration as well as launching of IEC materials were carried out in the presence of honorable minster. This program was carried out in 2 phase where in the first phase IEC material related with family planning tools and methods were disseminated and in the second phase videos on sign language for hard of hearing and deaf was disseminated.
The second event of the program was followed by panel discussion with multi sector representatives i.e. from the policy perspective Dr Bimala Rai Paudel who shared policy gaps, Dr Bikash Koirala who shared the programmatic , planning and monitoring part from the health and population ministry, from donor agency we had UNFPA’s country representative Lumba Baqi and from the field of PWDs and parents with PWDs we had KP Adhikari, chair of NDFN and Dr Sunita Amatya., chair of Autism Care Nepal.
Dr Bimala Rai Paudel shared that while participating in any program she tries to focus on the policy gaps and gives suggestion regarding it. Besides that they provide 3 to 6 months training on sign language course and distributes accessible materials to the children in school such as Braille and large print. She also mentioned about the existing policy gaps that PWDs are facing and in order to fulfill these gaps inclusiveness programs and policies should be passed from the parliament.
Dr Bikas Devkota mentioned that there 20 documents related with health. He also said that we should focus on attitudinal behavior rather than language translation. We have both access and utilization with us but we are not able to utilize it properly and it has created a gap for PWDs. Implementation and formulation is possible only when we are able to utilize the opportunities.
Ms Lumba Baqui from UNFPA- For UNFPA, our core area of work is reaching 3 zeros i.e. Zero maternal deaths and zero gender based violence. This is not just for UNFPA, this is for all stakeholders, we are working to conduct to address the needs in advocacy for inclusive policy and programs. We are guided by SDGs for inclusive agenda. ICPD had 9500 participants and it was reenergizing to see government of Nepal to leave no one behind. Making health structures disability friendly, removing attitudinal barriers and introducing prominent technologies is important.It is not just supply and delivery, but also in health seeking behaviors and enabling supportive and inclusive environment is important. Comprehensive sexual education is designed in the curriculum of Nepal, which is among the very few country to promulgate in asia pacific region.
KP Adhikari- When we look through deaf’s perspective we feel everything is okay but if we do not have words and sign language, how can we communicate? If we go through service provider and interpreters we feel lack of privacy while sharing our problems and especially women face more sexual abuse and rape cases are increasing day by day. Deaf people cannot bring the issues out neither in their classrooms nor in any aspects. Deaf people have not understood about how they should use contraceptives as there are no signs mentioned in it and we have not reached at that level. There is lack in the educational level and I feel that problem arises from this level also. There are laws and provisions but the implementation part is weak.
Dr Sunita Amatya- SRHR is an integral part of human anatomy. If we are emotionally, physically and mentally well than only we can be healthy. People with many kinds of disabilities demand for accessibility but psychosocial disability cannot speak about this and SRHR is also their right. Sexual abuse can happen to both son and daughter but the important thing is to provide access to SRHR knowledge in the school education. We need to teach good touch and bad touch in simplified way. In the case of abuse also it is parents responsibility to teach about close circle and far circle and education is the most important thing.
In this way the dissemination program was successful and this program provided insights for researchers who want to research on health policies and regulations for PWDs.