Coming Together in Partnership: EDID-GHDI Partnership Meeting in Ottawa, Canada

After more than two years of living and working amidst the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Engendering Disability-Inclusive Development - Genre, handicap et développement inclusif (EDID-GHDI) partnership team came together in person and online in Ottawa from June 21st to June 23rd for our first Partnership Team Meeting. The meeting was an opportunity for the entire partnership team to share the work they have been doing and to communicate their plans for moving forward in partnership.

The EDID-GHDI partnership brings together research partners from four country studies in Haiti, South Africa, Canada, and Vietnam, as well as one transnational study. The goal of the project is to uncover, co-create and mobilize knowledge about diverse women and girls with disabilities, and to influence the development of policies that are critical to removing barriers and creating the conditions necessary for inclusion and participation.

Highlights from the June 2022 Partnership Team Meeting

June’s hybrid meeting was planned with the intention of providing accessible and safe opportunities for everyone to participate, whether that was in person or online. While much has been achieved in the largely virtual environment of the COVID-19 pandemic, we felt it was important to come together in the spirit of partnership, share meals, have informal conversations, and sit together in the presence of those with shared values, goals, and commitments. In total, eight people attended in person and over 30 people joined online from our partner countries, as well as participants from Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The Vietnam Team presented their reflections from May 2022 fieldwork in Hanoi, focused on how women and girls with disabilities have been legally excluded from policies to date. The team discussed their plans to identify systemic barriers to the participation and representation of women and girls with disabilities. The South Africa Team has been establishing baseline policy and thematic research, and a pilot study which surveyed South Africa Disability Alliance (SADA) member organizations. The Haiti Team reminded the partners of the current crisis in the country, which has led to insecurity, increased poverty, and exclusion. The team has established a Haitian Guidance Committee, following their commitment to decolonize power relations. The team is dedicated to working with women with disabilities to strengthen their knowledge and capacity to influence public policy.

The Canadian Team has been exploring how legislative, jurisdictional, and human rights frameworks facilitate or limit paths to livelihoods for diverse women and girls with disabilities. An intersectional policy analysis focused on provincial and national legislation, as well as international conventions, is ongoing. Lastly, the Transnational Team is addressing how diverse women and girls are involved in international treaty body meetings and other international events, exploring who is represented in these setting or events, and investigating the extent to which women and girls with disabilities are engaged in the process of implementing and monitoring disability rights transnationally. 

Next actions for the EDID-GHDI Partnership

Some of the EDID-GHDI Partnership’s plans for moving forward include a series of pre-recorded workshops focused on planning policy forums, decolonizing research methodologies, and utilizing arts-based methods in the context of research on gender-based violence. The Canada team is also looking forward to hosting a Policy Forum on December 2, 2022, in Ottawa, which will bring together Canadian civil society organizations and government officials to identify key areas for policy change related to women and girls with disabilities.

Many partners agreed that the EDID-GHDI Partnership Meeting felt energizing, and the excitement for future collaborations and opportunities was palpable. The meeting not only reinforced the pressing importance of our shared work on addressing the struggles faced by women and girls with disabilities, but also was a reminder of how much work remains to create policies that promote the inclusion and participation of this globally underrepresented group.

We hope that you will follow or contribute to our work as it moves forward!  

     - Written by Jessica Lukawiecki and Claire Pinol


Twitter: @edid-ghdi


Disability, Women, Inclusion, Policy