Sexual and reproductive health of women with disability in the
Philippines: Building evidence for action
W-DARE aim and major research questions
Aim: to improve access to quality SRH programs for
women with disability in the Philippines
• What are the experiences of women with disability in
accessing SRH programs in Quezon City and Ligao City?
How do these differ from women without disability?
• What are the SRH service and information needs and
priorities of women with disability?
• What interventions are effective in improving access to
quality SRH programs for women with disability?
Action research in partnership
• Nossal Institute for Global Health, and Centre for
Health Equity (University of Melbourne)
• Social Development Research Center (De La Salle
Likhaan Center for Women’s Health
Center for Women’s Studies (University of the
– UNFPA Philippines Country Office
Baseline picture – data sources
• Household survey with 3051 adults (data
on prevalence, well-being and
participation restrictions)
• Women with functional limitation (and
matched controls) completed a SRH
questionnaire (253 women in total)
• 37 in-depth interviews with women and
girls with disability
• 8 focus group discussions (partners,
parents, women without disability)
• 20 key in-depth interviews with SRH
service providers
Top: Donna (CBR worker) collecting household
survey data in LC; Below: Completed surveys
ready for data entry and analysis
Early analysis
• Prevalence of functional limitation:
– Quezon City is 7.15% (95% CI: 6.15, 8.29)
– Ligao City is 14.04% (95% CI: 11.52, 17.00)
• Disability associated with increased age;
lower levels of education; unemployment
or economic dependence
Access to SRH services
• related to service providers (attitudes, behaviours, knowledge
and skills, gender of SP)
• related to facilities (physical barriers, policies, assistive devices)
• related to women with disability (awareness of services, SRH
knowledge, mental health, fear of services, self medication)
• economic barriers (cost of services, transport, SL interpreters)
• availability of services and supports (availability of local SRH
services, transport, SL interpreters)
• related to gender norms (domestic responsibilities)
Women’s SRH compromised by
• Abuse: Abuse is frequent and is perpetrated by
family members and partners, as well as strangers
and possibly service providers
• Sexual, physical, verbal, and emotional abuse
reported; also restriction of
movement/opportunities and domestic exploitation
• Negative public attitudes towards women with
disability: in public places, from health and transport
service providers, from family members
• Some notable instances of solidarity and support
Clockwise from top L: Participants in Disability
Inclusion workshop, QC; Pia collecting data
during the household survey, QC; Weng with
young people who are deaf in LC.
An enabling society in the Philippines
Enabling local environments
Supply side
Demand side

W-DARE aim and major research questions