To improve persons with disabilities’ rights and to access quality and comprehensive Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) services in Rwanda.
Adopt an approach that is inter-connected and mutually reinforcing. Evidence-based decision making is at the center of all our SRH activities and is supported by a range of actions that aims to ensure a comprehensive approach, including capacity strengthening of partner DPOs mainly based on, advocacy and influencing policies for improved access to comprehensives SRH package & services for young people and adolescents with disabilities, and strategic convening of key stakeholders for a more coordinated National SRHR coalition response.
3. Our Results :
This thematic area has established advocacy working groups & national networks a coalition to share evidence and strengthen action to realize sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) for all in Rwanda and globally.
4. In-Line with UNCRPD :
The 61st United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 13 December 2006. It is the first international human rights treaty of the 21st century. The Convention entered into force on 3 May 2008.
The Convention is the most rapidly negotiated and adopted international human rights convention in history. In addition, more countries came forward to sign the Convention on the first day it was open for signature than for any other Convention in the history of the United Nations. This high level of support indicates the critical importance that the international community places on the rights of persons with disabilities.
Several articles of the Convention have direct relevance to SRH, reproductive rights, and gender-based violence.
Article 9 calls for accessibility, including access to medical facilities and information.
Article 16 requires states to take measures to protect persons with disabilities from violence and abuse, taking into account the increased threat of gender-based violence and abuse.
Article 22 asserts the equal rights of persons with disabilities to privacy, including the privacy of personal health information.
Article 23 requires states to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities in all matters relating to marriage, family, parenthood, and relationships, including in the areas of family planning, fertility, and family life.
Article 25 requires that states ensure equal access to health services for persons with disabilities, with specific mention of SRH and population-based public health programs.
The Convention is a legally binding instrument once signed by a country. States are then required to ensure that all laws, policies, and programs comply with its provisions. In particular, Articles 23 and 25 require specific attention to the issues of persons with disabilities in matters of SRH and reproductive rights.
5. Sexual and reproductive health needs largely unmet for PWDs
The SRH of persons with disabilities has been overlooked by both the disability community and those working on SRH. This leaves persons with disabilities among the most marginalized groups when it comes to SRH services. Yet, persons with disabilities have the same needs for SRH services as everyone else. In fact, persons with disabilities may actually have greater needs for SRH education and care than persons without disabilities due to their increased vulnerability to abuse.
The challenges to SRH faced by persons with disabilities are not necessarily part of having a disability, but instead often reflect a lack of social attention, legal protection, understanding, and support. Persons with disabilities often cannot obtain even the most basic information about SRH. Thus, they remain ignorant of basic facts about themselves, their bodies, and their rights to define what they do and do not want. (They may have little experience relating to and negotiating with potential partners.) Persons with disabilities may be denied the right to establish relationships, or they may be forced into unwanted marriages, where they may be treated more as housekeepers or objects of abuse than as a member of the family. As a group, persons with disabilities fit the common pattern of structural risks for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections – e.g. high rates of poverty, high rates of illiteracy, lack of access to health resources, and lack of power when negotiating safer sex.