Women with disabilities trained to advocate and protect their human rights, health and safety

Mobility International USA (MIUSA)’s Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) is an intensive leadership training program served to strengthen leadership capacity, create new visions and build international networks of support for women with disabilities. MIUSA partnered with the Zonta Club of Eugene-Springfield for its ninth WILD program, which brought together women leaders with disabilities from 22 different countries.

With a Zonta International US$5,000 grant, 22 women with disabilities benefitted directly from the WILD training in Eugene, Oregon, USA. 

The 21-day program was tightly organized with activities every morning and afternoon and frequently in the evening. The curriculum was based on MIUSA’s unique training model, combining interactive workshops and consultations with local and international professionals, site visits, cultural enrichment and skill-building activities. One of the unique components of the WILD program was the Gender, Disability and Development Institute (GDDI), where WILD delegates met with 26 representatives from international development agencies.

After the WILD training, all 22 delegates completed WILD small grant applications requesting funding to support their in-country WILD trainings. From November 2019 – March 2020, the WILD in-country trainings were successfully delivered in 20 countries. The WILD-Jordan and WILD-El Salvador trainings were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of the in-country trainings focused on the topic of women’s health, wellness and safety, as this was the priority issue for women with disabilities in most countries. Through these trainings, an additional 378 women with disabilities were trained at the community level.

“Thank you for giving me these opportunities. It has really exposed me to higher levels and has increased my passion towards women and girls from my community,” a WILD 2019 delegate from Kenya said. “I will take the information [about women’s health] to the grassroots level and empower women and girls from my community.”

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