The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to an unprecedented rise in the cases of domestic violence. Women with disabilities are located at such a disadvantaged position in the current social matrix that they are more vulnerable to any form of violence than non-disabled women. Crisis perpetuates the existing inequalities in the society which has made women with disabilities even more vulnerable as they stand at a unique intersection of gender and disability. However, their issues remain invisible around this narrative. Their numbers are not accounted for properly in the official statistics. There is simply no recognition of such issues in the official data which fails to provide any disaggregated information around disability. Further, the current redressal mechanism under the existing laws completely overlooks the special needs of women with disabilities and the justice system continues to remain inaccessible to them. There is an urgent need to approach disasters from an intersectional perspective which can be crucial for the government in reaching out to the most vulnerable.
Written by Meghna Sharma and Niharika Das
Published on 31 March 2021