MIW at the CEDAW Committee, 22 Feb 2023!

Women and girls with disabilities continue to fall through the cracks of laws, policies and practices. Intersectionality is at the centre of conversations, and although they face multiple and intersectional discriminations, women with disabilities are ignored in gender related efforts and in disability related policies.

Through written contributions, women leaders have shared the harsh reality of their lack-of political representation : in those 6 countries, there are only 5 women with disabilities sitting in Parliaments. They reveal how intersectional discrimination starts from birth, with young girls with intellectual disabilities being denied the right to be legally registered ; and  the dramatic obstacles to access education. Women with disabilities struggle to get jobs or benefit from women mainstream entrepreneurship programs ; and they are deprived of access to social economic empowerment programs.

In a world where ableism and patriarchy rule, Women-led organisations of persons with disabilities must be systematically involved in decision making systems and policy processes. That will guarantee that women with disabilities are represented without stigmatization and shift from charity models.

Logos of participating organisations

In the oral statement, we advocate for temporary measures including electoral quotas targeted at women with disabilities to be enforced, combined with measures to ensure elections are accessible to all women, as voters and as candidates.

We urge the Committee to push all stakeholders to further engage in an intersectional approach to data.

Let us quote UN Women, “Data [are] not disaggregated enough to capture the SDG principle of ‘leaving no one behind’. Unless “disability” is articulated more systematically with intersecting factors such as gender and, age we will not succeed in identifying and tackling the issues preventing an inclusive and meaningful representation of women in their diversities throughout decision-making systems.

Congratulations to the organizations contributing to this submission

  1. ABPDFH-URUMURI Association burundaise pour la promotion des droits des femmes handicapées, Burundi
  2. CAVP Community Association for Vulnerable Persons, Cameroon
  3. CBCHS Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services, Cameroon
  4. Community Resource Centre for Disabled and Disadvantaged, Cameroon
  5. COVAW Coalition on Violence Against Women, Kenya
  6. CUAPWD Coordinating Unit of Associations of Persons with Disabilities, Cameroon
  7. HI-MIW Humanity&Inclusion, the Making It Work Gender and Disability project (lead)
  8. IFA Inclusive Friends Association, Nigeria
  9. KEDEADO Kenya Female Advisory Organization, Kenya
  10. LIDDWA Lira District Disabled Women’s Association, Uganda
  11. MUDIWA Mubende Women With Disabilities Association, Uganda
  12. NUWODU National Union of Women with Disabilities of Uganda
  13. PEARL-Foundation Protection, Economic Empowerment, Advocacy, Rehabilitation and Livelihood opportunities for Vulnerable Children and their Families, Cameroon
  14. UNABU Umuryango Nyarwanda w’Abagore Bafite Ubumuga / Rwandan Organization of Women with disabilities, Rwanda
  15. WCC Women Challenged to Challenge, Kenya