More Than A Footnote: A research report on women and girls with disabilities in Canada


Jihan Abbas


DAWN Canada is currently leading a research project to gain a better understanding of the key issues facing women and girls with disabilities and Deaf women and girls.

Although one in five women in Canada has a disability, very little research has been done about the issues that affect them. Even less is known about girls with disabilities. We do know that because of high rates of violence and unemployment and limited access to education, women with disabilities and Deaf women continue to face social and economic exclusion.

Using an intersectional feminist research framework, we expect this research project will:

  • Provide us with increased knowledge and understanding of the key issues faced by women and girls with disabilities and Deaf women and girls; and
  • Bring together partners who are committed to working together on addressing the identified issues.



In 2010 Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD). Each year, a UN Committee reviews Canada’s progress on meeting its obligations under the CRPD. In May 2017, the Committee presented a List of Issues to Canada which included 20 recommendations specific to women and girls with disabilities and a call to action.

This research project was funded through Employment and Social Development Canada’s Office for Disability Issues as part of the government of Canada’s response to the Committee’s recommendations.


Project Lead:

The research will be led by Jihan Abbas, a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar who holds a PhD in Sociology from Carleton University. Jihan has been involved in the disability movement for several years and has extensive professional and advocacy experience related to access and inclusion. Jihan’s work aims to build a more inclusive and equitable society.


Project Partners

Our project partners, listed below, will bring expertise in their specific areas of work to the project:



We will begin dissemination of project results in April 2018.  Stay tuned!

For more information, contact: Sonia Alimi, Research Coordinator at: