What is Women Enabled International?

Women Enabled International advocates and educates for the human rights of all women and girls, with an emphasis on women and girls with disabilities, and works tirelessly to include women and girls with disabilities in international resolutions, policies and programs addressing women's human rights and development. The organization's logo is the woman symbol ♀ with the letters 'WE' inside of the circle.

WEI Global Women with Disabilities Rights Advocacy Report
Updated August 9, 2017 Click here for mapping project report


A woman draws a network on a global map.WEI received generous funding from an anonymous donor for a Survey Project to foster a greater understanding of human rights advocacy for the rights of women and girls with disabilities, by disabled women ourselves and within the women's rights and disability rights movements,. Through an online survey and interviews, WEI produces this comprehensive report of the field of advocates for the rights of women and girls with disabilities globally and nationally, originally released on March 8, 2016, International Women's Day.

Recent News Items
  • August 18, 2017 CEDAW Recognizes Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities at 67th Session

    At the conclusion of the CEDAW Committee’s 67th session, Women Enabled international (WEI) is pleased to inform you about advancements the Committee has made in recognizing the rights of women and girls with disabilities.

    CEDAW Calls on Nigeria to End Discrimination against Women with Disabilities During its 67th session, the CEDAW Committee reviewed and issued concluding observations concerning Nigeria’s women’s rights record. These concluding observations contain several references to women and girls with disabilities. For instance, the CEDAW Committee called on Nigeria to adopt the national Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill and the Disability Rights Bill and amend them as needed to ensure they conform with CEDAW. The Committee also noted that women and girls with disabilities face economic and physical barriers to accessing needed social services, including health care, and called on Nigeria to ensure through existing and new innovative programs their access to health care and combat all forms of discrimination against them.
    • These concluding observations reflect recommendations made in a shadow letter to the CEDAW Committee from WEI, Advocacy for Women with Disability Initiative, Legal Defence and Assistance Project, and Inclusive Friends Association, all of which work to promote the rights of women and girls with disabilities in Nigeria or worldwide.


    CEDAW Includes Women with Disabilities in new General Recommendation on GBV During its 67th session, the CEDAW Committee discussed and adopted an updated general recommendation on gender-based violence, General Recommendation No. 35, which supplements its General Recommendation No. 19 on this topic. The updated general recommendation contains several references to women and girls with disabilities and the particular issues they face in the context of gender-based violence. For instance, the CEDAW Committee classified medical procedures performed on women with disabilities without informed consent as a form of gender-based violence and called on states to repeal any legislation that allows, tolerates, or condones this violence. The Committee further called on states to repeal any laws that deter women from reporting gender-based violence, including “guardianship laws that deprive women of legal capacity or restrict the ability of women with disabilities to testify in court.” The Committee also recommended that states implement accessible protection mechanisms to prevent further or potential violence, including by removing communication barriers for victims with disabilities, and called on states to develop and disseminate accessible information, including to those with disabilities, about legal and social resources available to victims.

    • These recommendations reflect comments submitted by WEI and endorsed by 10 other women’s rights organizations in September 2016, available here. WEI commends the CEDAW Committee for these important advancements and looks forward here working with the Committee in the future to ensure the rights of women and girls with disabilities worldwide.

  • August 2, 2017   UN Women Issue Brief "Making the SDGS count for women and girls with disabilities" highlights key issues for ending poverty (SDG 1), ensuring healthy lives (SDG 3), and mainstreaming disability to achieve gender equality (SDG 5). In this context, it is essential to address barriers in accessing adequate housing, health, education, and employment, as well as gender - related risk factors, including the exposure to violence and harmful practices and the lack of sexual and reproductive health services, in order to ensure full and equal participation of women and girls with disabilities in the 2030 Agenda. 

    See http://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/library/publications/2017/making-sdgs-count-for-women-with-disabilities.pdf
  • July 18, 2017 Women Enabled International Submission to the CRPD Committee on Its Draft General Comment No. 5 on CRPD Article 19 on the right to live independently and be included in the community, July 7, 2017.


    On July 7, 2017, Women Enabled International (WEI) provided comments about gender-based violence and independent living to the CRPD Committee on its Draft General Comment No. 5 on the right to live independently and be included in the community under CRPD Article 19. Women and girls with disabilities are more likely than men with disabilities and other women to experience gender-based violence, which can isolate them and increase the barriers they experience to exercising their right to independent living. In particular, women with disabilities who are subjected to domestic violence are frequently more dependent on their abusers for daily life activities and find that social services, including shelters, intended for victims of domestic violence are inaccessible to them because of their disability. Furthermore, women with disabilities living in institutions are at increased risk of gender-based violence because they are separated from the community and denied the right to independent living, a situation that requires specific monitoring and support for women with disabilities. Through this submission, WEI recommends specific changes to the CRPD Committee's Draft General Comment to better address these issues.


    Read the submission here:
    WEI Submission to CRPD Committee Draft GC5 on CRPD Article 19 the right to independent living and inclusion in the community July 7 2017 FINAL.pdf

    WEI Submission to CRPD Committee Draft GC5 on CRPD Article 19 the right to independent living and inclusion in the community July 7 2017 FINAL.docx

  • July 18, 2017   WEI and Advocacy for Women with Disabilities Initiative (AWWDI), Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), and Inclusive Friends Association, Submission to the CEDAW Committee’s Review of Nigeria, June 12, 2017.


    Women Enabled International (WEI), alongside local partners Advocacy for Women with Disabilities Initiative (AWWDI), Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), and Inclusive Friends Association--submitted an updated shadow letter to the CEDAW Committee for its forthcoming review of Nigeria in July 2017. The letter highlights that, because of their disability and their gender, women and girls with disabilities in Nigeria face multiple layers of discrimination and stereotypes about their capabilities that mean they are given less priority in families, have less access to education, and are considered less eligible for marriage or to found families. Additionally, women and girls with disabilities are subjected to violence--particularly sexual violence--at higher rates, and in Nigeria's conflict zones, they are frequently left behind when violence comes to their communities, with little access to justice or services. Finally, women with disabilities find that sexual and reproductive health information and services, including those to prevent and address HIV, are not accessible to them and stereotypes that they do not have sex and cannot become parents are pervasive. The shadow letter concludes with several recommendations for the CEDAW Committee to include in its concluding observations to Nigeria following the July 2017 review.


    Read the shadow letter here:
    WEI and Nigeria Partners CEDAW Review Submission June 12 2017.pdf

    WEI and Nigeria Partners CEDAW Review Submission June 12 2017.docx

 

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WORK WITH WEI

We've got opportunities posted:

Externally Funded Intl Legal Fellow Fall 2017

International Legal Interns Summer 2017

WEI accountABILITY Toolkit

Click here for toolkit details


accountABILITY toolkit cover.

In the 21st century, women across the globe continue to experience gender-based discrimination that impedes the full realization of their human rights. WEI’s forthcoming toolkit seeks to empower women with disabilities, working on their behalf to make use of available U.N. mechanisms to ensure that the human rights violations against women with disabilities experience receive redress and to make sure that the U.N. incorporates an intersectional gender and disability rights perspective.

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