Building the Capacity of Women with Disabilities in India

Starting in 2007, in partnership with member Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre (SMRC), RI worked in India for several years towards the inclusion of women with disabilities into all social, political and economic development, thanks to a generous contribution from the Austrian Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).  

The goal of theBuilding the Capacity of Women with Disabilities in India project was to build knowledge on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and create self advocates, to generate economic empowerment through vocational training and microenterprise, and to promote the right to health and basic health care practices among women with disabilities. This project was undertaken in the four rural/indigenous Indian States of Orissa, Chhatisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

The project assisted women with disabilities in India by:

  • Providing them with advocacy and leadership training;
  • Conducting a needs assessments and skills training in the area of information and communications technology (ICT);
  • Assisting them in obtaining loans and implementing initiatives under a Government micro-credit program that includes health micro-insurance;
  • Integrating the women with disabilities into community structures through their participation in village self-help groups;
  • Creating a virtual network in each state among women with disabilities to exchange information on health issues;
  • Promoting access to the Government’s Reproductive Health Care program through inclusion in health awareness programs.