Afghan Women with Disabilities Suffer Most Under Covid-19 Conditions

Women and girls with disabilities in Afghanistan are considered to be among the most hardly affected communities around the world by the corona virus pandemic. Afghanistan has an extremely high number of people with disabilities as a result of conflict, leaving the government with few resources to provide effective government services to all of its communities. Approximately 80 percent of girls with disabilities in Afghanistan face serious obstacles to accessing education facilities due to the social stigma, lack of ramps and transportation, limited knowledge of teachers to apply inclusive education. Instead, women and girls with disabilities tend to be kept isolated from the rest of the society, and treated as a source of shame for their families.

The problems that women with disabilities face daily are amplified as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly for those who live in rural areas. As medical clinics are commonly located in cities, rural inhabitants are forced to travel long distances in the absence of transportation to reach health services and even there treatment is not guaranteed.

Thus, even though the Afghan government expressed that they would protect the most vulnerable groups from the virus, disabled women seem to be forgotten.

Gender Concerns International therefore urges the International Community to offer more protection for women and girls with disabilities in Afghanistan, as well as support inclusive education and social programs aimed at alleviating the social stigma attached to any kind of disability.