Strengthening the voice of women with disabilities

In many low-income countries women with disabilities face significant barriers and challenges. Global authorities including the United Nations and the World Bank acknowledge that women with disabilities are among the poorest and most vulnerable people in disadvantaged communities.

Continuing work initiated by Partners in Disability and Development, Motivation Australia is supporting the Women with Disability and Development Association (WDDAT) of Tigray, to enable women with disabilities to work together to address the issues most relevant to them.

Established in 2006, WDDAT has almost 500 members and has national registration. WDDAT members defined the associations overall goal, which is: “To function as an effective organisation working with and for women with disabilities, in collaboration with those who influence the well-being of persons with disabilities and their families, to enhance quality of life”.

WDDAT seeks to collaborate with government and civil society to bring about positive change to the lives of woman with disabilities in Tigray and elsewhere. This has included pushing for equal rights and being a strong voice for women with disabilities in the region. In seeking to lift members out of poverty, WDDAT manage a micro-credit project, providing low interest loans to selected WWD to establish a business. This has resulted in many women with disabilities being able to meet basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter as well sending their children to school.

WDDAT is an evolving organisation and still requires support to increase its capacity to be a strong body that can improve the quality of life of its members. Throughout 2015, the focus of support from Motivation Australia, through the Tigray Team, will be building WDDAT’s organisational and governance strength. For more information, email Kerry Thomas.