Women and young people with disabilities in Samoa experience a range of restrictions to accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and gender-based violence (GBV) services on an equal basis with others and to realizing their rights to SRH legal capacity, and freedom from violence.
Barriers manifest in a multitude of ways including informal deprivations of legal capacity, encumbered access to justice, and weak referral pathways between SRH, GBV and disability-service providers. Moreover, women and young people with disabilities in Samoa experience pervasive stigma and discrimination, especially people with intellectual disabilities.
Physical and telecommunication barriers further impede communicating with service providers and access to facilities. While inaccessible SRH and GBV awareness raising programmes and information, education, and communication materials, along with the absence of disability-inclusive sexuality education, create even more entrenched barriers.
Nevertheless, Samoa’s commitment to community and to realizing its duties under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), along with the robust network of organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) in Samoa, means that Samoa is well positioned to tackle the barriers documented in this report.