Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Policy

First Advisor

Donna Haig Friedman

Second Advisor

Heather MacIndoe

Third Advisor

Gillian MacNaughton


Civil society organizations (CSO) play a crucial role in advancing the right of freedom from exploitation, violence, and abuse and in preventing gender-based violence (GBV) against women with disabilities. The body of academic literature about CSO work to prevent violence against women with disabilities is, however, surprisingly slim. In addition, little is known about how CSO practices address GBV policies aimed at protecting women with disabilities. This study explored this knowledge gap using a multiple case study approach with CSOs working specifically on GBV against women with disabilities in Mexico. There were two major areas of focus: The first was a review of Mexico's current gender violence policies so as to understand the context within which CSOs work to end GBV. The second focus was an exploration of the ways in which CSOs address GBV against women with disabilities, including the key strategies, practices, challenges, and successes of CSOs working in this area. I used a human rights-based approach (HRBA) – specifically three core principles: participation, non-discrimination, and accountability – and intersectionality to analyze the extent to which CSOs are aiding women with disabilities in advancing the enjoyment of international human rights. The ultimate purpose of this research was to systematically examine current practice, including promising CSO practices, to inform and improve advocacy, and human service practices and public policy in Mexico and in international domains.


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