Advancing equity for women with disabilities

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted 10 years ago. It is nowadays one of the key references to advance, promote and protect the rights of men and women and girls with disabilities. In its article 6, the CRPD pays a particular attention to women and girls with disabilities, and calls on all States to take appropriate measures to enhance the rights of all women with disabilities and promote their full development and potential.

Advancing equity for women with disabilities

To celebrate this anniversary, and discuss what has been done over the past 10 years, the Women with Disabilities Art and Culture Network, a Korean organization chaired by Miyeon Kim, is organizing an international conference on the following topic: “Promotion of the Rights of Women and Girls with Disability by the UN CRPD”.

Co-hosted by International Disability Alliance (IDA), and co-sponsored inter alia by Handicap International, this conference will take place in Seoul, on October 18th and 19th, and will gather experts from 13 different countries. This will be a great opportunity for women with disabilities, as well as their representative organisations, to share their experiences and insights about the current situation. Discussions will revolve around the next steps that need to be taken by States and other development/human rights actors in order to continuously use the CRPD to enhance the rights of women with disabilities.

This topic is especially important, as women with disabilities are still often excluded from their communities, and are perceived through the prism of ancient myths and beliefs regarding their disability. Their rights are frequently violated, they experience diverse type of abuse, and decisions over their own lives and bodies are often made by others. However, the inclusion and empowerment of women with disabilities benefits the society as a whole: indeed, they can then contribute to the economic and social development of their community as effectively as their peers with no disability, and their participation then enhances the overall wellbeing of the community. The participation of all members of a community, with or without disability, is the key to an advanced cohesion within society. As MIW good practices on gender and disability have shown for instance, cross-movement collaboration as well as the engagement of men in fighting discrimination are essential ingredients to advance women’s empowerment, promote equality and fight rights’ violations.

You can read more about the conference here and follow the latest discussions about the CRPD 10th anniversary on our Twitter and Facebook accounts!