Women and girls with disabilities must not be left behind
The ninth session of the Conference of the States parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) taking place in New York from 14 to 16 June 2016, will focus on “Implementing the 2030 development agenda for all persons with disabilities: Leaving no one behind.” UN Women is calling for strengthened partnerships with women and girls with disabilities and their organizations to address the barriers to their participation and decision-making.
This year marks 10 years since the adoption of the Convention, with gender equality a key principle of the Convention. Furthermore, Article 6 of the Convention calls for actions to ensure that women and girls with disabilities are able to enjoy and exercise their human rights.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer an unprecedented opportunity to drive lasting change for all women’s rights and equality, including women and girls with disabilities. Making this agenda come to life needs programmes and policies that are informed by high quality and timely data, disaggregated by sex and disability. Supporting the collection and analysis of disability statistics will be a central feature in UN Women’s new Flagship Programme Initiative on gender data and statistics.
Nearly one in five women live with disabilities . However, disabled women and girls remain at the margins of decision-making and their specific needs were largely invisible until recently, both to advocates of women’s rights and disability rights. In humanitarian contexts, women and girls with disabilities face even more discrimination, adding to an already heightened risk of violence and exploitation.
Find out more about UN Women’s work on women and girls with disabilities.
UN Women is co-sponsoring and speaking at the following events at the ninth session to the Convention:
“One decade after the UN CRPD and Women with Disabilities”, 1.15–2.30 p.m., Conference Room 12, UN Headquarters. A side event organized by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea and co-sponsored by UN Women, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Korea, National Council for Women in Egypt, Arab Organization of Persons with Disabilities (AOPD), UN CRPD NGO Forum and Dongcheon Foundation will examine the implementation of Article 6 and other relevant articles of the CRPD, and discuss the way forward for women with disabilities. Maribel Derjani-Bayeh, UN Women Policy Specialist, will speak at the event.
“Global Meeting: Implementation of Global Development and Humanitarian Goals – the Leadership Role of Women with Disabilities,” 3–6 p.m., Conference room 12, UN Headquarters. A side event co-organized by Women’s Refugee Commission, Women Enabled International, UN DESA, UN Women and International Disability Alliance, will provide an opportunity for networks of women with disabilities and other key stakeholders to discuss leadership of women with disabilities and their representative organizations in advancing global development and humanitarian goals. The meeting will set goals, priorities and collaborative actions to be undertaken; highlight promising advocacy initiatives; and identify gaps and barriers and outline strategies to address them. Lopa Banerjee, Chief of Civil Society Section, UN Women, will set the stage for the conversation.
“Empowering Young Women and Girls with Disabilities,” 3–4.30 p.m., Conference Room 12, UN Headquarters. A side event co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates, Permanent Mission of the United States of America, World Enabled Pineda Foundation, UN Women and UNICEF will focus on agency and leadership of young women and girls with disabilities, and illustrate how States Parties to the CRPD, civil society and UN entities can coordinate their efforts to achieve meaningful results. The dialogue will build a foundation for partnerships, stimulate actions and identify policy recommendations. Lakshmi Puri, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UN Women Deputy Executive Director, will speak at the event.
“Working to improve our own futures: Strengthening networks of women with disabilities in humanitarian action,” 11.45 a.m.–1 p.m., Conference Room 11, UN Headquarters. A side event co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Australia, UN Women, South Asia Disability Forum and Network of African Women with Disabilities, will share findings and recommendations from a global mapping of the role of women with disabilities in humanitarian action and highlight the experiences of regional networks of women with disabilities engaged in humanitarian action. Elizabeth Cafferty, UN Women Policy Specialist and Gender Advisor to the World Humanitarian Summit secretariat, will speak at the event.
 World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank (2011). World Report on Disability, Table C.2. p. 315