COVID Disability


MILESTONE’s recent project mobilized disabled women leaders for inclusive responses to gender-based violence during the COVID pandemic.

The 12-month project, Mobilizing Disabled Women Leaders for Inclusive Responses to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) during the COVID-19 Pandemic, was led by local partners in six countries: Brazil, Haiti, Nigeria, Mongolia, Sierra Leone, and Sri Lanka. The project aimed to mobilize disabled women as leading experts and build new partnerships with civil society and government actors who are working to address gender based violence in their local communities.

Working through our local partners, we conducted rapid assessments, convened country stakeholder consultations, and developed country-specific action plans designed to meet the needs of each local context. Action plans were implemented and led by disabled women leaders who represented each local partner organization.

Some of the key activities of their action plans included:

  • In Nigeria, new guidelines developed on inclusive GBV and COVID response and creation of a GBV monitoring and advocacy network to coordinate community action.
  • In Mongolia, a handbook to address inclusion of women with all types of disabilities in the work of organizations working on gender-related issues, including GBV.
  • In Haiti, a media campaign disseminated through social media and delivery of virtual and in-person trainings with key community stakeholders.
  • In Sierra Leone, a series of trainings with stakeholders from the disability community and agencies working on GBV and creation of a new GBV advocacy committee.
  • In Sri Lanka, a mobile app for women with disabilities to share information and referral resources on gender-based violence, a system created through which women with disabilities could request a “buddy” to assist in emergency situations, and a Training of Trainers program, which brought critical information to the local grassroots level.
  • In Brazil, a series of virtual trainings bringing together stakeholders and creation of a new action network for a coordinating responses on GBV and disability.