Mobility International USA (MIUSA) and the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre organised a programme on Mobilizing Women Leaders with #Disabilities for Inclusive Responses to Gender-Based Violence During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Central Province in January 2021. The programme was organised with the support of the “We for Our Rights” organisation in the Kandy district. The programme was held at the Centre for Handicapped in Kandy. These provincial-level programmes aim to build or strengthen partnerships between non-disability specific development organizations, government, and women leaders with a disability to promote inclusive GBV services and programmes in COVID-19 pandemic responses.
The University of Colombo conducted training on Disability Awareness and Sensitization under the Faculty of Arts – AHEAD grant and implemented in collaboration with the Centre for Disability Research Education and Practice (CEDREP) and the Staff Development Centre (SDC), the University of Colombo for the non-academic staff in December 2020. Ms. #Manique Gunaratne conducted the session on #Disability etiquettes.
Mobility International USA (MIUSA) and the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre organized a programme on Mobilizing Women Leaders with #Disabilities for Inclusive Responses to Gender-Based Violence During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Uva Province in January 2021. The programme was organized with the support of the Wellassa Organization for the Disabled in Monaragala district and was held at Little Rose Inn Hotel in Vallawaya.
The programme was organized to strengthen the inclusivity of community and government COVID responses to protect the fundamental freedoms of women and girls with disabilities. The objective was to Mobilize disabled women in leading efforts to promote inclusive gender-based violence (GBV) services and programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Introduction on “mobilizing women leaders with disabilities for “inclusive responses to gender-based violence during the Covid-19 pandemic” and “Briefing on what is GBV for women with disabilities during Covid-19 pandemic” were some of the areas covered at these training at the provincial level. The programme was conducted under the leadership of Ms. #Manique Gunaratne.
The Student Social Workers in the academic year 2017/18 at the National Institute of Social Development (NISD), following the Bachelor of Social Work Degree, organised a live discussion in December 2020, under the topic, “Towards an Inclusive Society with The Right-Based Approach in #Disability“. Additionally, the discussion was focusing on the importance of the right-based approach in different settings, the role of social workers and the society to make inclusion and the role of persons with disability to make a path for an inclusive society.
The guest speakers were; Ms #Manique Guneratne, Manager – Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Ms Niluka Gunawardena, an educator, examiner, advocator for disability rights and a visiting lecturer at the University of Colombo & Kelaniya and Mr Amila Adikaram, psychiatrist social worker and counsellor at the Teaching Hospital, Ratnapura.
Ms. #Manique Gunaratne was a speaker at the virtual public event in the margins of the 13th Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of People with #Disabilities (CoSP13 CRPD) in December 2020
Organized by: CARE, Community Association for Vulnerable Persons (CAVP, Cameroon), National Union of Women with Disabilities of Uganda (NUWODU) and Women Enabled International. Co-sponsored by: Permanent Mission to Mexico to the UN, Permanent Mission of Ireland to the UN and UNICEF
We have known for years that people with disabilities are often excluded from programs and services designed to prevent and respond to GBV in humanitarian emergencies. More recently with the onset of COVID-19 and the GBV ‘shadow pandemic,’ it has triggered, women and girls with disabilities are being left out and left behind in even greater numbers. They may be isolated in their homes, overlooked during needs assessments and not consulted in the design or evaluation of programs, but global pandemic or no, all human rights of women and girls with disabilities must be ensured and particular protections to those in humanitarian crises must be guaranteed.
This event brings together women who are at the frontlines in Cameroon, Uganda and South Sudan, addressing the intersection between gender, disabilities, GBV prevention and humanitarian response. Through a moderated discussion these women’s firsthand experiences about the key challenges they face were heard and what approaches are working and what needs to change or scale up to ensure we deliver on our collective commitment to make access to GBV services, mental health and psychosocial support, and sexual and reproductive health services and programs available to all on an equal basis. There was also an opportunity for participants to pose their own questions to the panel.
The objectives of the event were To provide an international platform for local disability rights advocates working in a range of countries experiencing humanitarian emergencies to talk directly with States Parties to the CRPD about the challenges that women and girls with disabilities face in these contexts, particularly when it comes to GBV prevention and response and access to the highest attainable standard of mental and physical health, including sexual and reproductive health services. The speakers provided recommendations about how these challenges can be overcome to advance commitments to inclusive humanitarian action and inclusive and gender-responsive sustainable development.
By promoting a better understanding of the challenges local women-led and women’s rights organisations are experiencing both pre-and post-COVID, provide concrete recommendations to the humanitarian system and States Parties to the CRPD to ensure all stakeholders take action to put women and girls with disabilities at the centre of humanitarian action, both as agents of change and as members of affected communities.
To showcase the tools that have been developed to address the intersection between disability, gender and humanitarian response, including the IASC Disability Guidelines, Minimum Standards for Prevention and Response to GBV in Emergencies; and the WRC/IRC Toolkit for GBV Practitioners.
Participants included UN Permanent Missions, experts on gender and disability rights from Member States that are Parties to the CRPD; UN officials and staff; civil society representatives from national, regional and international NGOs.
Manique Gunaratne Visiting Lecturer – University of Colombo
The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & #Disability Resource Centre conducts training on “How to make your organisation an inclusive workplace”. If you wish to have an inhouse training please contact us. Ms. #Manique Gunaratne conducted the “Inclusive Workplace” session at the H R Diploma conducted by EFC in November 2020.
Manique Gunaratne Resource Person – Beyond the Reach Project of Internet Society Sri Lanka Chapter
Disability Organizations’ Joint Front (DOJF) has embarked on an advocacy initiative to provide “Education and Awareness on the Rights of persons with #disability” to district level leaders as an integral part of the project titled “Disability Inclusion in Mainstream Development Process”. The Advanced phase of the Rights Education was held in September 2020 at Hotel Janaki. The selected participants who have completed the initial training will receive a comprehensive education and training on Disability, Gender & Human Rights.
Ms. #Manique Gunaratne shared her experience in this training program by conducting a session on the “Vocational Training & Employment” thematic area.
Manique Gunaratne Member of the Expert Body of the Sub Committee on Persons with Disabilities – Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka
Persons with disability at The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & #Disability Resource Centre together with Family Planning Association Sri Lanka spoke of their rights on sexual and re-productive health on World Health Day in April 2021.
Now is the time for action concerning #SRH of persons with disabilities! “Persons with disabilities have the same sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs as other people. Yet they often face barriers to information and services. Through our IPPF SPRINT Project, we conduct training on sexual and reproductive health and rights“, says Ms. #Manique Gunaratne.
#IPPF, South Asia Region
“The challenges are not necessarily part of having a disability, but instead often reflect lack of social attention, legal protection, understanding, and support” – WHO/UNFPA guidance notes
“Persons with disabilities have the same needs for SRH services as everyone else. #SRH knowledge and services matter!”, says Mr. Yasal Samarajeewa.
#IPPF, South Asia Region IPPF WHO Sri Lanka UNFPA Sri Lanka
Persons with disabilities face many barriers to care and information about SRH, GBV and other violence, and abuse. The frequent assumption is that persons with disabilities are not sexually active and therefore do not need SRH services. “Everybody matters – sexual and reproductive healthcare and information is a must for all!” says Ms. Ganga Subasinghe. #WorldHealthDay#Choice#Access#SRHR#SRH#LKA
“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”, says Ms. Sansani Kavindya.
#WorldHealthDay #Fact #SRHR #SRH #LKA
“It is important to assure that sexual and reproductive health services are friendly to persons with disabilities. SRH information and services is a must for ALL persons” says Mr. Chamod Ruwanga.
#WorldHealthDay #SRHAwareness #HumanRights #IPPF, South Asia Region
The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, Specialised Training & Disability Resource Centre implements several programmes to develop entrepreneurship skills of persons with diverse #disabilities. The Centre started training in Entrepreneurship Skills Development in Cookery on Rice Dishes in September 2020. Five girls with a learning disability will be trained in Cookery. The programme is sponsored by Ms Dinusha Wickramasekera and Ms Dale Ramanathan with the guidance of Ms #Manique Gunaratne.
Manique Gunaratne Vice-Chair Person – South Asian Disability Forum