Published February 2017
Women Enabled International is pleased to release our 2016 Annual Report highlighting the accomplishments we've made this year.
This guide to General Comment No. 3 on women and girls with disabilities (GC3) from the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) attempts to pull together the information contained in disparate parts of GC3 on the major themes it covers, including gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and access to justice. This guide also brings together the recommendations that the CRPD Committee makes in GC3 about eliminating discrimination and stereotypes and ensuring equality for women and girls with disabilities.
This guide is divided into six sections:
· Discrimination, Equality, and the Content of Article 6;
· Respect, Protect, Fulfill Framework;
· Gender-based Violence;
· Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR); and
· Access to Justice.
These are the major themes covered by GC3. However, GC3 also addresses other issues, including legal capacity, employment, public participation, and education, among others. The charts below include these issues as they are relevant to the themes above, but GC3 may also contain additional information on these topics and should be directly consulted as needed.
Women Enabled International Submission to the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings on Domestic Violence and Infanticide Regarding Women and Girls with Disabilities January 30, 2017
On January 30, 2017, WEI responded to a call for submissions by the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Killing to support the Special Rapporteur’s efforts to incorporate a gender-sensitive approach to extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary killing into her work. WEI’s submission provides information on the high rates of domestic violence that women and girls with disabilities face, and the lack of access to justice—factors that can elevate the risk of domestic violence escalating and leading to arbitrary killing. The submission also identifies factors that contribute to heightened rates of infanticide of children, and especially girls, with disabilities. The submission urges the Special Rapporteur to consider how different characteristics, such as disability, intersect with gender to expose women and girls to a heightened risk of arbitrary killings. The submission also identifies core state obligations to address the underlying factors that contribute to a heightened risk of women and girls with disabilities to arbitrary killings, including stigma, a lack of support for individuals with disabilities and their families, and issues surrounding access to protective and rehabilitative services and justice mechanisms for victims of gender-based violence with disabilities. The submission also highlights the challenges presented by the lack of disaggregated data on violence, femicide, and infanticide directed at women and girls with disabilities.
Women Enabled International and Allies Submission to the CEDAW Committee Regarding its Draft General Recommendation on the gender-related dimensions of disaster risk reduction in a changing climate – Implications for Women with Disabilities January 30, 2017
On January 30, 2017, WEI submitted comments to the UN CEDAW Committee on the CEDAW Committee’s Draft General Recommendation addressing gender-related dimensions in disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the face of a changing climate. WEI’s submission, which was endorsed by 10 other non-governmental organizations from around the world, identifies unique barriers that women with disabilities face in the context of natural disasters. WEI then makes specific suggestions on how the CEDAW Committee could edit draft General Recommendation to better address the specific barriers that women with disabilities encounter in emergency settings. This submission was endorsed by: Advocacy for Women with Disability Initiative (Nigeria); Agate Center for Women with Special Needs (Armenia); Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) (Nigeria); National Union of Women with Disabilities of Uganda (NUWODU); Programa de Acción por la Igualdad y la Inclusión Social (PAIIS) (Colombia); Samarthyam - Women with Disabilities Forum for Action (India); Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre (India); Sisters of Frida (UK); Magdalena Szarota, Doctoral Research Student, Centre for Disability Research, Lancaster University and Co-Founder, Association of Disabled Women ONE.pl (Poland); and Women with Disabilities India Network (WWDIN).
WEI President Stephanie Ortoleva was an invited expert to the Expert Group Meeting Women with Disabilities - Development & Society Santiago de Chile 11-2016 The Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) of DESA co-organized with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC) in Santiago de Chile, Chile, an Expert Group Meeting under the theme “Advancing the rights and perspectives of women and girls with disabilities in development and society” from 15-17 November 2016. The meeting included experts from around the world including those with experience in: disability, women’s rights, gender equality and empowerment of women, social and economic development, and research. Stephanie Ortoleva made a presentation entitled “Accountability - responding to Disabled Women’s Needs, disasters & humanitarian crises” January 13, 2016
Download the presentation in PowerPoint pptx format: Accountability- Experiences in Responding to Specific Needs of Women & Girls with Disabilities in Disasters & Humanitarian Crises: A Human Rights Based Approach
Download the presentation in PDF format
WEI submitted this short report on the rights of girls with disabilities to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for a forthcoming OHCHR report, Protection of the Rights of the Child and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. While addressing the question, "What approaches to implementing the 2030 Agenda would ensure the protection of the rights of all children, and that no child is left behind?," this report examines the disparities that girls with disabilities face in accessing education and exercising the right to health, including sexual and reproductive health. It also notes the higher rates of violence, including genqder-based violence, against girls with disabilities, as well as barriers they face in accessing justice and participating in accountability mechanisms. Finally, the report includes recommendations for how states can implement the Sustainable Development Goals in a way that respects, protects, and fulfills the human rights of girls with disabilities. November 12, 2016
Short report on the rights of girls with disabilities for a forthcoming OHCHR report, Protection of the Rights of the Child and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development added November 12, 2016
WEI submitted this short report on the rights of girls with disabilities to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for a forthcoming OHCHR report, Protection of the Rights of the Child and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. While addressing the question, "What approaches to implementing the 2030 Agenda would ensure the protection of the rights of all children, and that no child is left behind?," this report examines the disparities that girls with disabilities face in accessing education and exercising the right to health, including sexual and reproductive health. It also notes the higher rates of violence, including gender-based violence, against girls with disabilities, as well as barriers they face in accessing justice and participating in accountability mechanisms. Finally, the report includes recommendations for how states can implement the Sustainable Development Goals in a way that respects, protects, and fulfills the human rights of girls with disabilities.
Read PDF WEI OHCHR Submission for Report on Child Rights and 2030 SDG Agenda October 17, 2016 Final.pdf
Read Word file WEI OHCHR Submission for Report on Child Rights and 2030 SDG Agenda October 17, 2016 Final.docx
WEI prepared this short submission on the rights of women and girls with psychosocial disabilities sent to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for a forthcoming OHCHR report on mental health and human rights. Following up on a Human Rights Council resolution on this topic, the OHCHR report will focus on violations of in the context of mental health provision and interpreting legal standards to ensure the respect, protection, and fulfillment of all human rights. WEI's submission focuses on violations faced disproportionately by women and girls with psychosocial disabilities, including forced and coerced reproductive health procedures, gender-based violence, and barriers to accessing justice. It also provides interpretations of relevant articles of the CRPD and other human rights conventions, with recommendations about how states should implement these conventions to tackle human rights abuses against women and girls with psychosocial disabilities.
WEI, Advocacy for Women with Disabilities Initiative (AWWDI), Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), and Inclusive Friends Association shadow letter to the CEDAW Committee added November 12, 2016
WEI--alongside local partners Advocacy for Women with Disabilities Initiative (AWWDI), Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), and Inclusive Friends Association--submitted a shadow letter to the CEDAW Committee to help the Committee develop a list of issues for its forthcoming review of Nigeria. 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 that stereotypes they do not have sex and cannot become parents are pervasive. The shadow letter concludes with several recommendations for the CEDAW Committee to include when developing the list of issues for its review of Nigeria's women's rights record and for concluding observations following the review in July 2017.
WEI and Nigeria Partners, CEDAW LOI Submission Women with Disabilities October 14, 2016 FINAL.pdf
Read Word file WEI and Nigeria Partners, CEDAW LOI Submission Women with Disabilities October 14, 2016 FINAL.docx
Women Enabled International, working with Women with Disabilities India Network, compiled this submission for India's upcoming third Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Drawing on India's international commitments, this submission focuses on violence against women with disabilities, access to sexual and reproductive health services, and access to justice. As the submission illustrates, women with disabilities in India disproportionately face violations of these rights, due to discrimination based on both their gender and disability and stereotypes about their capability, sexuality, and role within families. The submission provides targeted questions and recommendations on these topics for India's UPR, which will take place in April/May 2017.
Read PDF WEI WWDIN India UPR Submission September 2016.pdf
Read Word file WEI WWDIN India UPR Submission September 2016.docx
Women Enabled International and Sisters of Frida, a collective of women with disabilities in the UK, compiled this submission for the UK's upcoming third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. This submission focuses on the continuing problem of violence against women with disabilities in the UK, as they face higher rates of sexual violence and experience domestic violence at twice the rate of other women. Women with disabilities are also less likely to have the economic independence to leave an abuser, have fewer accessible options for support services, and face increased barriers to accessing justice, due to disability-related stereotypes and denials of reasonable accommodation. The submission provides targeted questions and recommendations on these topics for states to utilize during the UK's UPR, which will take place in April/May 2017.
Read PDF WEI and SOF UK UPR Submission September 2016.pdf
Read Word file WEI and SOF UK UPR Submission September 2016.docx
WEI Submission to the CEDAW Committee on its update to its General Recommendation No. 19 on Violence Against Women by WEI, with sign on support from eight non-governmental organizations around the world. added October 2016
This submission was drafted by Women Enabled International (WEI) and is endorsed by: Advocacy for Women with Disabilities Initiative (AWWDI) (Nigeria); Association of Disabled Women, ONE.pl (Poland); CREA (India); Handicap International's Making It Work Initiative on Gender and Disability (France); Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) (Nigeria); National Union of Women with Disabilities of Uganda (NUWODU); Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre (India); Sisters of Frida (United Kingdom); and Women with Disabilities India Network (WWDIN).
Based on the specific issues that women with disabilities experience when exercising their right to be free from violence, this submission provides targeted comments to the CEDAW Committee on its Draft update to General Recommendation No. 19 (1992): accelerating elimination of gender-based violence against women. These comments focus both on how to more explicitly include women with disabilities in the draft and also how to ensure that the draft's provisions adequately address the barriers and issues that women with disabilities disproportionately face when exercising their right to be free from violence. As such, this submission provides both suggested amendments to the current paragraphs of the draft General Recommendation and suggestions for additional paragraphs and sections to include in the draft.
The amendments suggested in this submission are important for our work on the rights of women with disabilities for several reasons. Although many of the countries that have ratified CEDAW have also ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and the CRPD Committee recently issued a general comment on the rights of women and girls with disabilities that addresses gender-based violence, there is not a perfect overlap between states parties to the two conventions. Additionally, although the CRPD Committee has weighed in on many of the issues that lead to violence against women with disabilities—including denying them legal capacity and arbitrarily detaining them in institutions, based on disability—many states have not fully adopted the human rights-based approach to these issues and still allow, and frequently legally permit, these violations to take place. As the CEDAW Committee is the human rights leader in efforts to eliminate violence against women, many states and our organizations would benefit from the CEDAW Committee's additional guidance on these issues. Finally, by ensuring that women with disabilities are better included in the updated General Recommendation No. 19, the CEDAW Committee will be recognizing the unique experiences of women with disabilities while also including them in the framework of women's rights, helping to reduce stigma targeted at women with disabilities by ensuring that their experiences are no longer invisible and that they are fully recognized as women and as rights holders.
Read PDF WEI CEDAW GR19 Update Submission September 30 2016.pdf
Read Word file WEI CEDAW GR19 Update Submission September 30 2016.docx
WEI Talking Points Zika, Microcephaly, Womens Rights and Disability Rights April 2016 Updated June 2016
Updated June 22, 2016 Originally posted April 23, 2016 As we all know, the news is filled with discussions regarding the Zika virus, microcephaly, access to abortion, and women's sexual and reproductive rights—sometimes from a medical perspective, sometimes from a community health perspective, sometimes from a women's rights perspective, and occasionally from a disability rights perspective. When confronted with such an emotional issue in a climate of medical uncertainty and insecurity, nuanced language is often not reflected in the dialogues. After reading many of these perspectives, Women Enabled International (WEI) sets out a more nuanced perspective to frame a discussion that reflects the inherent rights and dignity of all affected by the Zika virus based on an intersectional disability and women's human rights perspective. We begin with an overview of the key medical facts as we understand them based on current scientific evidence, recognizing that new information is emerging on a regular basis, to ensure that this conversation is grounded in a common understanding of existing evidence. We conclude with an overview of some of the core international legal obligations that underpin the perspectives we layout in this document.
Please see WEI's Talking Points below in English, Spanish and Portuguese. We hope these are helpful and that they contribute to the discussions. Please contact us with any questions at Info@WomenEnabled.org. We greatly appreciate Translators Without Borders for these translations into Spanish and Portuguese .
Read PDF English WEI Talking Points Zika, Microcephaly, Womens Rights and Disability Rights.pdf
Read Word file English WEI Talking Points Zika, Microcephaly, Womens Rights and Disability Rights.docx
Versiones en español:
Leer PDF Espanol WEI Temas de debate: Zika, microcefalia, derechos de la mujer y derechos de las personas con discapacidad.pdf
Leer Word file Espanol Zika, microcefalia, derechos de la mujer y derechos de las personas con discapacidad.docx
Versoes em portugues:
Ler PDF Portuguese WEI Pontos de Discussão: Zika, Microcefalia, Direitos das Mulheres e Direitos das Pessoas com Deficiência.pdf
Ler Word file Portuguese WEI Pontos de Discussão: Zika, Microcefalia, Direitos das Mulheres e Direitos das Pessoas com Deficiência.docx
WEI Comments on United States Department of Justice Guidance on Gender-Biased Policing: Who's Missing? December 2015
Disabled Women Say: Although there is much to commend in the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Guidance on gender-biased policing for women generally, once again, women with disabilities are missing and ignored! The sadly cursory treatment of the issues confronting women with disabilities in situations of domestic violence and other forms of gender-based violence and assault is very disheartening and devastating to the lives of the thousands of disabled women in the United States who may call on the police for assistance.
Read PDF Comments on United States Department of Justice Guidance on gender-biased Policing December 22, 2015 Final.pdf
Read Word file Comments on United States Department of Justice Guidance on gender-biased Policing December 22, 2015 Final.docx
WEI's submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities draft General Comment on Article 6 on women. July 26, 2015
Rraising the myriad human rights issues raised by the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that women with disabilities encounter, focusing on gender-based violence as a pernicious manifestation of such discrimination, noting that women with disabilities experience gender-based violence at a magnitude greater than women without disabilities, and women with disabilities face numerous barriers to ending the cycle of violence and accessing justice, WEI clarifies States' due diligence obligations with respect to gender-based violence committed against women with disabilities by both state and private actors and provides an overview of barriers that women with disabilities face in accessing justice and identifies States' obligations to respond to such violence, and then WEI concludes with recommendations for strengthening the language of the draft General Comment to provide greater clarity on these obligations.
Read PDF WEI Submission CRPD General Comment on Article 6 July 24 2015.pdf
Read Word file WEI Submission CRPD General Comment on Article 6 July 24 2015.docx
Read the CRPD Committee's Draft General Comment in Word file
Women Enabled International Submission to the ICCPR Article 6 on Right to Life and Women. July 4, 2015
Women Enabled International made this submission to inform the drafting of a general comment on the right to life (article 6) under the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights by the U.N. Human Rights Committee. This submission urges the Committee to take into account the specific risks to the right to life of women and girls, and particularly women and girls with disabilities, as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. In particular, the submission argues that access to a full range of sexual and reproductive health care is essential to protecting women's right to life and that the right to life includes an implicit right to live with dignity.The submission also urges the Committee to uphold its existing jurisprudence and ensure consistency with prevailing international human rights standards by making clear that the right to life accrues at birth and not prenatally. Read WEI's submission here:
Read PDF WEI Submission to CESCR Committee on Just and Favorable Conditions of Work: Caregiving and Women with Disabilites.pdf
Read Word file WEI Submission to CESCR Committee on Just and Favorable Conditions of Work: Caregiving and Women with Disabilities.docx
Disability, Gender and the Trajectories of Power. May 2015
Edited by Prof. Asha Hans with a chapter by Stephanie Ortoleva; This book argues for the rights of women with disabilities, who live on the periphery of society, and seeks to eradicate the exclusion and stigma that are part of their lives. It brings together the perspectives of academicians and activists in trying to understand the various social issues faced by women with disabilities and argues for a society where they are not denied respect, equality, and justice. Filling the gap in the existing feminist research, this book seeks to influence the way in which society treats women with disabilities and will be of interest to scholars and researchers in the field of women's rights, disability rights, and rehabilitation. Available on Amazon now!
Submission to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review by Women Enabled International and Center for Reproductive Rights September 13, 2014
In collaboration with the Center for Reproductive Rights, Women Enabled International submitted this report to the Human Rights Council for use in its review of the United States. Our submission focuses on human rights violations against women and girls with disabilities in the United States, specifically violence and interference with sexual and reproductive rights. Women Enabled International participated in the United States Government's consultations with Civil Society as the United States prepares for its review by the HRC.
Read PDF Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review by Women Enabled International and Center for Reproductive Rights.pdf
Read Word file Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review by Women Enabled International and Center for Reproductive Rights Word.docx
Submission to the Committee Against Torture by Center for Reproductive Rights, Women Enabled International, and National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. September 22, 2014
This submission focuses on how three groups of women who face multiple forms of discrimination in the U.S. are disproportionately subjected to severe physical or mental suffering that amounts to torture or ill-treatment in the exercise of their reproductive rights: (1) poor, rural and immigrant women in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas who are denied reproductive health care; (2) immigrant women in detention who are denied access to reproductive health care and subjected to shackling; and (3) women and girls with disabilities who are subject to forced or coerced sterilization. Women Enabled International participated in the United States Government's consultations with Civil Society as the U.S. prepares for its review by the CAT Committee.
Advancing Disability Rights Through Strategic Human Rights Reporting: Fostering Disability Rights Organizations Participation in the UN Universal Periodic Review Procedures, 2014, by Stephanie Ortoleva
Read PDF Advancing Disability Rights Through Strategic Human Rights Reporting-Fostering DPO Participation in UPR Update 2014.pdf
Read Word doc Advancing Disability Rights Through Strategic Human Rights Reporting-Fostering DPO Participation in UPR Update 2014.doc
The U.S. Department of Education issued proposed amendments to its regulations on sexual harassment and assault on college and university campuses and a "Questions and Answers" document on sexual assault and violence on college campuses and the Title IX regulations.
Women Enabled's Comments on the Proposed U.S. Department of Education Title IX Regulations
Read PDF Comments on US Dept of Education Title IX Sex Assault and Harassment Regulations July 21 2014 As Submitted.pdf
Read Word file Comments on US Dept of Education Title IX Sex Assault and Harassment Regulations July 21 2014 As Submitted.doc
Official hyperlink: http://1.usa.gov/1l3dMdE
U.S. Department of Education Proposed Title IX regulations
U.S. Department of Education's "Questions and Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence"
White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault Report
United States' Compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
The Advocates for Human Rights, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status, along with
University of Miami School of Law Human Rights Clinic, Legal Momentum, and Women Enabled
109th Session of the
Human Rights Committee
13-31 October 2013
Written Statement on Domestic Violence, Gun Violence, and "Stand Your Ground" Laws Response to Questions 9(a) and 20 in the Human Rights Committee's List of Issues.
Read Word doc file ICCPR US Shadow Report VAW 2013 Final.doc
Basas, Carrie Griffin, The New Boys: Women with Disabilities and the Legal Profession (October 27, 2009). Berkeley Gender Law Journal, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2010.
Abstract: This article fuses the fields of law, feminist theory, and cultural studies to examine the status of women attorneys with disabilities. It is the first study of its kind in the United States. The author conducted an empirical, qualitative, and ethnographic study of women attorneys with disabilities in the United States. Thirty-eight attorneys participated and their narratives form the basis for critical analysis of disability animus and discrimination in the legal profession. The results show an alarming trend toward disabled women attorneys self-accommodating in the workplace, rather than enforcing their employment rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Relying on the scholarship of covering, passing, and mitigation conducted in the law and social sciences, the author advances theories about ableism in the legal profession, particularly with regard to disabled women. These theories inform and complement strategies for increasing overall diversity in the legal profession. She suggests litigation and professional culture-based measures for improving the status of disabled women attorneys and all attorneys stigmatized by perceived differences.
Ortoleva, Stephanie: International Day of the Girl Child: Focus on Education – Missing Stories in the Blogs. October, 2013.
Partial abstract: The United Nations has designated October 11 as International Day of the Girl, with a focus on Education. But as I read many well-written and strong feminist posts on this issue, the concerns of millions of girls with disabilities are missing from the dialog. Who are the missing girls? The deaf girl in India who attends a school for deaf children and who was raped by her teachers. The blind girl in the United States who wants to be a scientist, but is not permitted to take the classes and who is told a blind person can't be a scientist, especially not a blind girl. The girl with a disability in Pakistan whose parents keep her at home and will not even let her attend school because they are ashamed. These are only a few of the untold stories. But the statistics about education of girls with disabilities tells us even more starkly.
Ortoleva, Stephanie and Lewis, Hope: Forgotten Sisters - A Report on Violence Against Women with Disabilities: An Overview of its Nature, Scope, Causes and Consequences Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 104-2012
Partial abstract: This report, prepared by scholars and human rights advocates who are members of the Working Group on Violence against Women with Disabilities, focuses on the prevalence and pervasiveness of violence against women and girls with disabilities.
Stephanie Ortoleva, Esq., President, Women Enabled, Inc. and Carolyn Frohmader, Executive Director, Women With Disabilities Australia, "The Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities," ICPD Conference Briefing Paper, The Netherlands, July 2012
Abstract: This significant Briefing Paper was prepared in preparation for the ICPD Human Rights Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health (part of the 20-year review of the International Conference on Population and Development,) sponsored by OHCHR, UNFPA and the Government of theNetherlands, in The Hague July 7-11, 2013. This Briefing Paper explores these issues from the human rights perspective, provides references to the findings of international human rights bodies and mechanisms, and provides details on specific human rights issues which have a significant impact on the lives of women and girls with disabilities and which violate their core human rights.
Stephanie Ortoleva, Keys to Our Future and Our Rights!," World Justice Project Blog, May 1, 2013
Abstract: In this World Justice Project blog post Stephanie draws on her keynote presentation at the Pacific rim conference at the University of Hawaii and discusses the urgent need to advance the education and employment of women and girls with disabilities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), stressing that this is not only important for women and girls with disabilities and for society as a whole. She then explores the mixed promises of technology for women and girls with disabilities and compares this to the promises made to women about the liberating effects of technology in the 20th Century – some promises not kept.
Stephanie Ortoleva, CSW57 and Women with Disabilities, U.S. International Council on Disability Blog, April 17, 2013
Abstract: In this USICD blog post, Stephanie Ortoleva writes about her work at CSW57 and violence against women with disabilities.
Stephanie Ortoleva, "Women Enabled: Women with disabilities at the UN Commission on the Status of Women 57th Session," Diplomatic Courier, Issue II, Vol VII, March/April 2013
Abstract: Every year around International Women's Day, hundreds of women and allies from around the world gather in New York for the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Unfortunately, not all women are as welcome as others. For many years, women with disabilities who want to engage at CSW—women who want their experiences respected, their contributions valued, and most of all, their rights reflected in the resolutions and Final Conclusions—have struggled with this experience. Despite the implications for millions of women and girls with disabilities and their families, issues concerning them receive only limited coverage, if any, in influential official research and other preparations for CSW. There is scant inclusion in side events, other than those few organized by women with disabilities themselves. CSW can contribute to a more inclusive and effective awareness of discrimination against all women by welcoming women with disabilities to the table. The article discusses the nature, scope, causes and consequences of violence against women and girls with disabilities and outlines the strategies used by women with disabilities to ensure inclusion in the discussions and outcomes of CSW57, where the priority theme is violence against women.
Stephanie Ortoleva, Women with Disabilities and the Justice System: Rights without Remedies", World Justice Project Blog, February 20, 2013
Abstract: Drawing on her extensive work to prevent and eliminate violence against women with disabilities as well as her research on access to justice, in this World Justice Project blog Stephanie discusses the various barriers the justice system imposes on women with disabilities when they seek to vindicate their rights and she explores some examples of the ramifications of this denial of access to justice on their lives.
Despite progress made through a series of United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR), beginning with the groundbreaking UNSCR 1325 in 2000,1 to give women a place at the table in post-conflict peace building and reconciliation, women with disabilities are missing and ignored and have not had a role in these processes. Women with disabilities are excluded both in practice and formally, through the various United Nations resolutions and policy documents, including the UNSCR 1325 Indicators and the UNSCR 1325 National Action Plans, each country is to prepare. In Stephanie Ortoleva’s most recent law review article ,she reviews some of these plans to ascertain if women with disabilities are included, and also sets forth factors that may explain this exclusion, and describes guidelines for the inclusion of women with disabilities in such plans.
Stephanie Ortoleva, The Forgotten Peace Builders: Women with Disabilities,” Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review, 33 Loy. L.A. Int’l & Comp. L.Rev. 83 (2010).
Women across the world are standing their ground against political exclusion, but more must be done to ensure that a gender-sensitive approach is used, that all women have the opportunity to participate in building the rule of law and strengthening democracy, and that all women have a voice in decision-making processes post-conflict.
Submission by Stephanie Ortoleva for the CEDAW Committee’s July 18, 2011 General Discussion on a Proposed CEDAW General Recommendation on women in conflict and post-conflict situations, presenting legal arguments and recommendations for the inclusion of women and girls with disabilities.
Stephanie Ortoleva, “Inaccessible Justice: Human Rights, Persons with Disabilities and the Legal System, 17 ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. 281 (Spring 2011).
This paper focuses on the important concept of access to justice and what it means to persons with disabilities. It also addresses how the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) provides for awareness of the requirements to provide access to justice for persons with disabilities.
Stephanie Ortoleva, Esq., Right Now! - Women with Disabilities Build Peace Post-Conflict, Barbara Faye Waxman Fiduccia Papers on Women and Girls with Disabilities, Center for Women Policy Studies April 2011
Open Letter to the UN Under-Secretary-General for UN Women “Addressing the Needs of Women with Disabilities in UN Women"
Advancing Disability Rights Through Strategic Human Rights Reporting: Fostering Disability Rights Organizations Participation in the UN Universal Periodic Review Procedures by Stephanie Ortoleva
Stephanie Ortoleva, Esq.,
President and Founder
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