130330 A Deeper Silence

A Deeper Silence: The Unheard Experiences of Women with Disabilities – Sexual and Reproductive Health and Violence against Women in Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Tonga


When the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5B was adopted in 2008, it included access to reproductive health care for all members of society, including those living with disabilities. However, women with disabilities continue to be neglected and marginalized. Their reproductive health concerns are often ignored, sometimes in a way that dehumanizes them, and this compounds discrimination toward them and their families.

We hope that this publication will assist UNFPA to better address the needs and rights of women with disabilities in the new country programme cycle beginning in 2013, but that the findings and
recommendations can also inform UN, government and development partners’ programming in years to come. Central to this will be in ensuring that policies and programmes for persons with disabilities are
created and implemented with their meaningful engagement. This can be done through partnerships with organizations such as the Pacific Disability Forum and its country-basedaffiliate organizations.

The report findings are particularly urgent where they highlight the violence disabled women face. It is critical that the needs of persons with disabilities be integrated into legislative reform, policy and programme development and, most importantly, action that impacts positively on the lives of women with disabilities.