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Sexual Autonomy is a hushed topic in the East African regions and the denial to sexual autonomy and experiences is even further intensified for Women with Disabilities (WwD). During the online session, Bijal Lal will present about the inherent right to sexual autonomy for WwD in East Africa, especially Women with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Bijal will discuss the barriers to experiencing sexual autonomy, and present recommendations within East African contexts. This session will discuss the intersection between gender and disability, focusing on key human right treaties that most governments have signed (CRPD, CEDAW) but gaps in its implementation. The barriers highlighted will include cultural misconceptions, differential access to social rights, violence and abuse, and capacity to consent. The recommendations will include building cross-movement alliances, empowering through sexual self-advocacy skills, government accountability in disability specific data collection and building an inclusive sexual health curriculum.


When: Thursday 7 March 2024, 3:00-4:30pm EAT (12:00pm, London; 7:00am New York/Washington, D.C.).

Where: Zoom

Click here to register and receive the Zoom link – it’s free!


Brown-skinned woman with dark long hair wearing glasses and a black blazer looking at camera in front of a red screen.

Bijal Lal, is a special needs educator and a deputy principal at a special school in Tanzania. She holds a Master’s degree in Special Education and recently completed her postgraduate diploma in International Gender Equality Studies. She works with students with disabilities in Tanzania, and advocates for inclusive education and employment rights for Persons with Disabilities, especially Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. She has been the founder of the Tanzania-Nisonger Center ECHO initiative, which provided virtual teacher training for special educators in Tanzania on Neurodevelopmental Disorders. She has run programs that support teacher education, curriculum building, and empowering through building self-advocacy skills. Recently, she was the recipient of the prestigious Vigdís Finnbogadóttir award under the auspices of UNESCO for her research essay on sexual autonomy for Women with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Tanzania. Bijals’s work is driven by her experiences with her students, who continue to be a pillar of her commitment towards building an inclusive society where every person can equally flourish.