AccessAbility: Inclusive innovation challenge to ensure rights and choices for youth with disabilities
A call for innovative solutions to address barriers to sexual and reproductive health and rights facing young persons with disabilities.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in collaboration with the Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub) and the Global Network of Young Persons with Disabilities (GNYPWD) are calling for innovative solutions to address barriers to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) facing young persons with disabilities.
Access to health services and freedom from gender-based violence are a human right. Women and young persons with disabilities often experience higher risks of violence, increased barriers to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and significant challenges in meeting their basic needs due to factors such as gender and disability.
Technology innovations offer opportunity and hope as enablers to support persons with disabilities in learning and accessing their rights, resources and benefits. However, many barriers currently stand in the way to sexual and reproductive health rights access, including digital inaccessibility, digital literacy and fragmented internet access, amongst others.
This innovation call is seeking solutions to address these pressing challenges to disrupt inequalities and foster the empowerment of women and girls, encompassing the diverse range of their experiences, abilities and identities.
Dr Nigina Muntean, Chief of the Innovation Unit at UNFPA said;
“Women and young persons with disabilities must be empowered to make decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health and rights and able to live free of discrimination and violence. We are excited leverage the partnership with GDI Hub and GNYPWD to advance the aim of UNFPA We Decide Programme and promote social inclusion of women and young persons with disabilities through financial empowerment, technology and capacity building. Together with young innovators with disabilities, we believe we can disrupt inequality and build a more inclusive and equitable world.”
The challenge aims to enhance the capacity of young persons with disabilities, improve availability and accessibility of innovations tailored to their unique needs, and facilitate their access to financial resources and participation in decision-making processes related to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information, commodities, services, and essential support in the area of gender-based violence (GBV).
Ben Hardman, Head of Innovation at GDI Hub added:
“Through this collaboration we will provide the platform and capacity for young persons with disability to develop transformative solutions to the problems that matter most to them. Only through genuinely inclusive innovation, can these challenges be identified and solved ‘by and for’ young persons with disability.”
Winners will be selected from teams and organisation led by young innovators with disabilities, with innovations that focus on solutions to address the challenges facing young persons with disabilities in accessing their full sexual and reproductive health and rights. The winners will be awarded with a blend of financial and capacity building support, as well as enhanced connection with UNFPA teams and technology ecosystem.
Reflecting on the significance of this innovation call, Kartik Sawhney from the Global Network of Young Persons With Disabilities (GNYWPD) said:
“This Innovation Challenge is an impactful initiative that aligns with our vision: a world where young persons with disabilities fully exercise their rights to health, education, and freedom from gender-based violence. It embodies our mission to empower our members to advocate for their rights, utilizing technology as a tool to address accessibility gaps, dismantle barriers, and amplify their voices. We believe this Challenge will lead to practical, transformative solutions that will make significant strides in promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, and are looking forward to supporting the young innovators with disabilities.”
Ready to apply?
Click the button below to go to the GNYPWD website: