Original Research

Preparedness of civil society in Botswana to advance disability inclusion in programmes addressing gender-based and other forms of violence against women and girls with disabilities

Jill Hanass-Hancock, Nomfundo Mthethwa, Malebogo Molefhe, Tshiamo Keakabetse
African Journal of Disability | Vol 9 | a664 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v9i0.664 | © 2020 Jill Hanass-Hancock, Nomfundo Mthethwa, Malebogo Molefhe, Tshiamo Keakabetse | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 July 2019 | Published: 28 July 2020

About the author(s)

Jill Hanass-Hancock, Gender and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), Durban, South Africa; and, School of Health Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Nomfundo Mthethwa, Gender and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), Durban, South Africa
Malebogo Molefhe, Private, Gaborone, Botswana
Tshiamo Keakabetse, Institute for Development and Management, Gaborone, Botswana


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Abstract

Background: In low-income and middle-income countries women and girls with disabilities are more likely to experience violence than those without disabilities. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) can help to address this. However, in countries like Botswana we know little about the preparedness of NGOs and DPOs to increase inclusion in and access to programmes addressing violence.

Objectives: To explore the capacity and preparedness of NGOs and DPOs to ensure that women and girls with disabilities can participate in and access programmes addressing violence.

Methods: A qualitative study was undertaken using interviews with 17 NGOs and DPOs in Botswana to understand the organisations’ level of and ability to deliver programmes addressing violence against women and girls.

Results: Both NGOs and DPOs lack elements of universal design and reasonable accommodation, and thus are inaccessible to some people with disabilities. Some programmes address violence against women but lack skills and resources to accommodate people with disabilities. In contrast, DPOs work with people with disabilities, but lack focus on violence against women with disabilities. Participants identified opportunities to fill these gaps, including adaptation of policies and structural changes, training, approaches to mainstream disability across programmes, development of disability-specific interventions and improved networking.

Conclusions: Botswana’s NGOs and DPOs are well positioned to address violence against women and girls with disabilities, but need to increase their accessibility, staff knowledge and skills and disability inclusion. Training, resource allocation and participation of women with disabilities in NGOs and DPOs is needed to drive this change

Keywords

gender-based violence (GBV); violence; HIV; Botswana; participation

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