EDF calls for equality & full inclusion for women with disabilities!

6 March 2015

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day on 8 March, EDF calls for equality and the full inclusion of women and girls with disabilities in all actions that European Union and its Member States undertake.

This year is special. 2015 is not only the year the world will agree a new international development framework, it is also the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action; this platform aimed to bring to light the structural inequalities and human rights violations faced by all women and girls, and to prepare the ground for concrete action to realise gender equality.

Today, when we look at this platform for action, we stand together with women’s organisations across the world in calling for a reinforced commitment to women’s rights and gender equality. We would also like to highlight why it is essential to make the platform inclusive, and to address the rights of women and girls, of all ages, and with particular attention to women who face multiple discrimination, such as women and girls with disabilities and female informal carers of persons with disabilities.

Discriminatory laws and harmful traditional practices, as well as customary and negative stereotypes of women and men remain. Many women face barriers to the enjoyment of their human rights and full equality due to factors such as disability and may be disadvantaged and marginalised by lack of general knowledge and the non-recognition of their human rights, as well as the obstacles they face in access to information and recourse mechanisms in case their rights are violated.

Many women, including women with disabilities, are also particularly affected by environmental disasters, serious and infectious diseases and various forms of violence against women.

Reproductive rights of women and girls are not properly recognised as defined in paragraph 95 of the Beijing Platform for Action , and there are barriers to their full enjoyment. Some women and girls continue to face obstacles in their attempts to do justice to them or in the exercise of their human rights, due to factors such as disability.

‘When it comes to women’s rights, we need to make sure that women and girls with disabilities are included in each discussion, and in every measure taken to address inequality. Why? Women with disabilities are students, workers, mothers, carers, political activists, and experts on their own issues. We know that women and girls with disabilities are more likely to be poor, denied access to quality education, more exposed to violence, discrimination and deprivation of legal capacity. If we want Beijing + 20 to tackle the root causes of inequality, women and girls with disabilities need to be fully included following the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and all forms of multiple discrimination faced by them, must be addressed’, says Ana Peláez, EDF Executive member and Chair of EDF Women’s Committee who will represent EDF at the Beijing +20 summit this year.

EDF would like to mark this day by asking for the full inclusion of women and girls with disabilities in all actions to address gender inequality and urges the European Union and its Member States to undertake comprehensive reviews on progress and difficulties encountered in this regard.

EDF’s commitment to promoting the rights of women and girls can be found in our 2nd Manifesto on the Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities in the European Union

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