Issues around Sexual and Reproductive Health, including Maternity Care, of Women with Disabilities in Low and Middle-Income Countries
There is a distinct gap in evidence about access and utilization of sexual, reproductive, and maternity care services by women with disabilities in low-income countries. To address this gap and bring attention to health care needs of women with disabilities on a global level, we propose an international workshop to discuss key issues, and suggest next steps.
The United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities protects the freedoms and human rights of all people with disabilities, which includes access to quality sexual, reproductive, and maternity care services. However, the limited evidence available suggests that people with disabilities face many barriers in accessing these services. Barriers are multi-faceted, and include physical inaccessibility and cost. Furthermore, there may be widespread assumptions that women with disabilities are categorically nonsexual and therefore access to sexual and reproductive health services is unnecessary. Women with disabilities seeking care may also face barriers in the form of negative attitudes and assumptions of healthcare providers and limited knowledge about disability.
Research on barriers and challenges to sexual, reproductive, and maternity care by people with disabilities in low-income countries is sparse. A comprehensive state of the science assessment of existing research and future directions is therefore critical to inform next steps towards improving sexual, reproductive, and maternity care of people with disabilities in low-income countries.
A one day international workshop will be hosted at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine on Wednesday 24 April 2019, as a collaboration between the International Centre for Evidence in Disability (LSHTM), the Institut de recherché pour le développement (Marseille, France) and the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy (Brandeis University). The workshop will include panel of international experts who will present on their work focused on sexual, reproductive, and maternity care among people with disabilities. There will be opportunity throughout the day to discuss the research presented, identify key evidence gaps, and consider opportunities for further studies.
This workshop will be followed by a drinks reception from 5.30pm onwards.
Please note that this session will NOT be live-streamed/recorded.