New Study on Sexual and Reproductive Health of Disabled Filipinas Initiated

Researchers in Australia and the Philippines have developed a three-year project to address the needs of disabled women in gaining access to quality sexual and reproductive health information and services. The project, entitled “Sexual and Reproductive Health of Women with Disability in the Philippines: Building Evidence for Action,” is funded by AusAID through the AusAID Development Research Scheme (AusAID) with substantive co-funding from the UNFPA Philippines Country Office.


    The research will be conducted in urban slums and peri-urban locations in Quezon City (Metro Manila), and Ligao City in Albay Province (Bicol Region). These locations have been selected to provide data on the experience of women in diverse settings. The research will include people with disability at all stages. The research design includes capacity development activities to ensure that representatives of Disabled Persons Organizations, local research institutes and service providers have the skills and confidence to be active research partners.


  The project is being led by researchers from the University of Melbourne (the Nossal Institute for Global Health (NIGH), and the Centre for Women’s Health, Gender and Society (CWHGS)) and De La Salle University (Social Development Research Center) in the Philippines, in collaboration with Philippines-based implementing partners including PARE (Persons with Disability Advocating for Rights and Empowerment), WOW LEAP (Women with Disabilities Leap Social and Economic Progress), the Likhaan Centre for Women’s Health, the Centre for Women’s Studies at the University of the Philippines, and the UNFPA Philippine Country Office.


  The research team is composed of Dr. Cathy Vaughan of the University of Melbourne CWHGS— Principal Investigator; and Dr. Jesusa Marco of DLSU-SDRC, Mr. Jerome Zayas (Research Associate), Ms. Alexandra Devine and Dr. Martha Morrow of Melbourne’s NIGH, and Ms. Sally Baker and Dr. Manjula Marella of the CBM-Nossal Partnership—Co-Investigators. A Project Advisory Group in the Philippines representing key stakeholders and experts in the sector will be convened to guide the research process and outcomes of this significant action research for women with disability.