i2i Webinar "Diversity and inclusion in the world of work: findings and recommendations on how to promote socioeconomic participation of women with disabilities’ to achieve an equal future"

The Innovation to Inclusion (i2i) project has specifically examined the disadvantages faced by women with disabilities in socioeconomic participation in Bangladesh and Kenya. In this webinar, we explore the findings from the gender analysis and consider some of the practical recommendations for how to help support women with disabilities in overcoming these barriers.

Maureen Piggot introduces the session, giving a short introduction to the i2i project and introducing our first speaker, Ariana Almeida from Plan International.

Ariana starts by reminding us that persons with disabilities face intersecting forms of discrimination, and women and girls with disabilities are more likely to face discrimination and exclusion compared to men and boys with disabilities. She explains how the objective of the gender analysis by i2i was to go into the gender dynamics, power relations, and the barriers to their economic participation. This was achieved by breaking it down into 6 areas of analysis.

She explains that the data collected came from an extensive literature review and secondary data analysis, alongside primary data from 113 stakeholders, though the collection and extent of primary data collected have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ariana then goes through the 8 different groups of findings, designed to provide direct and actionable recommendations to ensure meaningful interventions. This covered Gender Roles and Responsibilities; Mobility; Access to Information; Education and Training; Social Capital and Access to Networks; Decision Making; Gender-Based Violence; and Economic Participation. She explains what they found, and some of the resulting recommendations.

We then hear from Nasrin Jahan, to gain the perspective from an Organisation of Persons with Disabilities in Bangladesh. Nasrin highlights how women with disabilities have been neglected in Bangladesh, detailing a number of intersecting reasons for this. She especially highlights that while Bangladesh has two disability laws, they are not being implemented in practice.

Nasrin rounds off her comments with the recommendation that government and private sectors need to cooperate for these laws to be implemented meaningfully, and that when this group of people is given equal opportunity, they will be able to play a role in the community, contribute socioeconomic value, and be able to live independently.

Margaret Wairimu follows Nasrin, sharing the ways that the corporation Coca-Cola in Kenya has been working to break down the barriers faced by women with disabilities. After detailing the main barriers that she believes that the private sector can help address, she then describes the ways that Coca-Cola has worked on each one, with recommendations for how the private sector could be ensuring greater inclusivity of persons with disabilities.

There is then a discussion segment where the audience is encouraged to share their thoughts, experiences, and questions that might help to provide some practical recommendations for supporting women with disabilities in socio-economic participation.

The discussion covered many comments and questions and produced a number of practical suggestions that have been recorded by Ariana and her team on virtual post-its.

Ariana Almeida’s (Plan International) presentation is available here.

Margaret Wairimu’s (Coca-Cola) presentation is available here.

The transcript of the webinar is available here