Global norms and standards: Women and girls with disabilities
Several international, national, and regional norms and standards, including human rights treaties and outcomes of various global conferences, call for the inclusion and empowerment of all women and girls with disabilities across their life course. These include the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol (CRPD), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
While CEDAW does not explicitly refer to women and girls with disabilities, the General Recommendation of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination of Women no. 18 (a) notes that women with disabilities are doubly marginalized and recognizes the scarcity of data, and (b) calls on States parties to provide this information in their periodic reports and ensure the participation of women and girls with disabilities in all areas of social and cultural life.
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action identifies specific actions to ensure the empowerment of women and girls with disabilities in various areas, bringing disability inclusion into the general efforts to address the multiple barriers to empowerment and advancement faced by women and girls.
In 2019, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2475, a ground-breaking text on the protection of persons with disabilities in conflict. It represents the first stand-alone resolution on the protection of persons with disabilities, emphasizing the obligation on parties to a conflict to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy equal access to basic services, access to justice, effective remedies, and, as appropriate, reparation.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has a stand-alone goal on gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls and includes persons with disabilities in the SDGs related to poverty; hunger; education; washing, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); economic growth and employment; inequality; accessibility of human settlements; climate change; and data, monitoring and accountability.
The effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda will further contribute to the inclusion and empowerment of women and girls with disabilities. This also contributes directly to the implementation of the United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy (UNDIS), which UN Women is firmly committed to support as part of its own corporate strategy on the empowerment of women and girls with disabilities.