Updated statement: Guaranteeing the rights of women and girls with disabilities – Disability inclusive response

25 March 2020

We updated our "Open letter to leaders at the EU and in EU countries: COVID-19 – Disability inclusive response" with demands related specifically to the guaranteeing the rights of women and girls with disabilities.

Guaranteeing the rights of women and girls with disabilities

  • Ensure data disaggregated by sex and disability is available when compiling information: include differentiated infection rates, information on barriers faced by women when accessing available humanitarian aid, and the rates of domestic and sexual violence.
  • Consult directly with organisations of women with disabilities concerning the situation faced by women and girls with disabilities, and in particular their needs and the steps that must be taken to face the pandemic.
  • Include the gender dimension in the responses you are offering to people with disabilities. Responses should differentiate the particular needs of women and girls with disabilities, but also the specific needs they may have within each specific disability group.
  • Involve women with disabilities in all stages of your responses and in all decision-making processes.
  • Ensure women with disabilities working in all essential sectors (including healthcare, social services providers, shops, farming, sanitation, food production) are adequately taken care of and protected in the face of potential infection. This includes access to information, to personal protective equipment and hygiene products (including menstrual products).
  • Support local organisations of women with disabilities or community-based groups of women with disabilities in developing accessible messages about prevention strategies and responses.
  • Ensure access to sexual and reproductive health services, including prenatal and postnatal healthcare for women.
  • Adopt measures to provide direct compensation to informal women workers, including healthcare staff, domestic staff, migrants and those in other sectors most affected by the pandemic.
  • Foster policies to recognise, reduce and redistribute the unpaid work inside homes for healthcare reasons and to look after persons with disabilities, work mostly carried out by women, including women with disabilities.
  • Ensure services in response to violence against women and girls stay available, including to women and girls with disabilities, or introduce them where they do not currently exist (helplines, shelters, etc).


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