Ausaid Annual Report

australian agency for international development
  • Triple Jeopardy—research challenges violence against women with disability

Triple Jeopardy—research challenges violence against women with disability

Whether as medical breakthroughs, advances in technology or filling information gaps, good research can change lives when it changes the way we see things.

Recent ground-breaking work from an AusAID Development Research Award is helping to change lives by revealing the levels and nature of violence and discrimination experienced by women with disability in Cambodia.

The Triple Jeopardy research project—a first for Cambodia—contributes to a small but growing body of evidence in this under-researched area. The findings show that women with disability experience a threefold impact—a triple jeopardy of threat—from the interplay between gender inequality, disability and poverty that magnifies the disadvantages they face.

The research also demonstrates that while women with disability face similar levels of sexual, physical and emotional violence from their partners compared to other women, they endure much higher levels of violence perpetrated by family members. A quarter of women with disability who were surveyed as part of the three-year project reported that their family members had been physically violent to them, compared to 11 per cent of women without disability. More than half of women with disability had been subjected to emotional violence by their family compared to 35 per cent of other women.

The findings were made possible by the creation of a unique tool to collect and analyse this kind of sensitive information. Policy makers and other researchers will now be able to use the Triple Jeopardy survey tool to capture credible and accurate information. This is a major step forward, particularly in the Asia–Pacific region, where only a handful of studies have disaggregated disability data on violence against women.

By presenting us with new data and tools for analysis, Triple Jeopardy—and other good research like it— provides a fresh view of development problems and a better way of responding to them.

Caption: A Cambodian woman participates in a focus group discussion as part of the Triple Jeopardy research project

Credit: Courtesy of Kathy Oliver, International Women’s Development Agency