WEI Submission on Domestic Violence and COVID-19 at the Intersection of Gender and Disability to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women

Several actors have identified that, alongside the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a simultaneous “hidden pandemic” of domestic violence as a result of COVID-19 mitigation measures that is impacting the health and safety of particularly women and girls around the world. In response to a call for information from the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women about this hidden pandemic, WEI reported information from its own research and that of organizations of women with disabilities around the world to illustrate how factors related to both gender and disability are creating a greater risk of domestic violence for women, girls, non-binary, trans, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities during this global crisis.

Read or download the submission:

Response to U.N. Special Procedures Questionnaire on COVID-19 and Human Rights

WEI, as a member of the Nairobi Principles Working Group, submitted information to several U.N. human rights experts on the situation of rights related to gender, disability, and sexuality during the COVID-19 crisis. This information will be used to inform the global human rights response to this pandemic.

Read or download the submission:

 

Women Enabled International Demands Justice

Women Enabled International (WEI) strongly condemns the continued police violence and murder of members of the Black community in the United States that has led to days of protests across the country and around the world.

The racist murders of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, and numerous other men, women, trans and non-binary persons—with and without disabilities—is a human rights violation of the highest order.

Our staff, fellows and interns mourn their deaths and commit to fighting for racial justice in the United States and globally. We stand with protestors around the world in demanding justice and action to address the systemic human rights violations in the United States that contribute to the ongoing oppression of members of the Black community in any form—from police violence, police failures to address gender-based violence  and the government failures to address the COVID-19 pandemic, all of which disproportionally impact the Black community. WEI also strongly supports the U.S. Constitution and its provisions on freedom of expression and assembly and deplores calls by some to bring weapons to this struggle.

Disability and gender justice do not exist separate from racial justice. Now—more than ever—is the time to invest in and follow the leadership of Black women with disabilities.

WEI’s leadership and staff are currently reflecting on how we can better address racial justice in our work, confront our own privileges, and support and follow the lead of Black women with disabilities and their organizations. We invite you to join us in these reflections and to share your thoughts with us directly and on social media.

Below are just a few of the brilliant experts and resources out there. Please study their resources and support them and other activists who are doing important work to surface the intersecting concerns of race, gender, and disability:

In addition, please consider signing on to Color of Change’s #JusticeforFloyd petition and #JusticeforBre petition; joining the NAACP’s #WeAreDoneDying campaign; reading the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s statement against police killings and use of excessive force; and if you are able, donating to a local United States bail fund through the National Bail Fund Network to assist arrested protesters in the United States to post bail.

WEI is fighting for a world where women and girls with disabilities claim their human rights, act in solidarity, and lead self-determined lives. This future will never be achieved as long as our Black sisters remain oppressed. We stand with you today and everyday – Black Lives Matter.

Yours in solidarity,

Stephanie Ortoleva and the Women Enabled International Team

WEI and Disability Rights International Comments to the CEDAW Committee on the  Draft General Recommendation on Trafficking in Women and Girls in the Context of Global Migration

On May 14, 2020, in partnership with Disability Rights International (DRI), WEI submitted comments to the CEDAW Committee to provide feedback on the Committee’s Draft General Recommendation on Trafficking in Women and Girls in the Context of Global Migration. These comments built upon WEI’s previous submission to the Committee to inform its half-day of general discussion in 2019 on the same topic.

WEI and DRI’s comments enumerate suggested line edits to the Committee’s Draft General Recommendation language to better include women and girls with disabilities and their issues. The Draft General Recommendation did not include one reference to women and girls with disabilities and only one reference to disability disaggregated data. To remedy this gap, WEI and DRI offered suggested language changes to address the experience and needs of women and girls with disabilities and recommendations to States on how they can meet their obligations to women and girls with disabilities. Along with specific line edits, WEI and DRI also offered suggested additional paragraphs documenting the experience and barriers faced by women and girls with disabilities who have been or are at risk of being trafficked.

View/Download below. Submission is in English.

COVID-19 at the Intersection of Gender and Disability: Findings of a Global Survey

a graphic depicting women isolated by the virus

In March 2020, WEI identified a gap in initial global responses to COVID-19, in that many actors were discussing how to include women and persons with disabilities in the response, but few were considering the unique experiences of women with disabilities and others living at the intersection of gender and disability.

This report, which pulls together responses to a global survey from 100 women, non-binary, and trans persons with disabilities across the globe, seeks to provide the guidance States, U.N agencies, and others need to respond to this crisis in a way that fully respects, protects, and fulfills rights at the intersection of gender and disability.

Note: If the link to the full report above doesn’t work, please use this link and consider sending us a note at webperson@womenenabled.org to let us know!

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From Global Coordination to Local Strategies: A Practical Approach to Prevent, Address and Document Domestic Violence under COVID-19

WEI collaborated with MADRE, Media Matters for Women, MenEngage Alliance, Nobel Women’s Initiative, OutRight Action International, and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) to produce this practical guide for preventing, addressing, and documenting domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This guide is intended for policymakers, service providers, civil society organizations, and journalists and, among other recommendations, calls for these actors to ensure intersectionality in addressing domestic violence during the pandemic, including at the intersection of gender and disability.

This is the first part of a forthcoming Toolkit aimed at ensuring a human rights-based approach to addressing domestic violence during COVID-19.


Read the guide:
From Global Coordination to Local Strategies: A Practical Approach to Prevent, Address and Document Domestic Violence under COVID-19 [PDF]


Download guide in Microsoft Word or PDF format:

 

Endorse the Statement on Rights at the Intersection of Gender and Disability During COVID-19

In efforts to respond to COVID-19, women, girls, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities have been left behind.

This Statement seeks to articulate particular issues that are impacting rights at the intersection of gender and disability during this crisis and provide guidance to governments, United Nations entities, healthcare providers, and civil society organizations who are involved in the response.


Or download a copy of the statement:

Statement on Rights of Women with Disabilities During COVID [PDF] (389 downloads)   Statement on Rights of Women with Disabilities During COVID [Microsoft Word] (252 downloads)

You may endorse the statement by sending your name, country, organization if applicable, and e-mail address to WEICOVID19Survey@gmail.com.


Descargar en español:

Declaración sobre los derechos en la intersección de género y discapacidad durante COVID [PDF] (47 downloads)   Declaración sobre los derechos en la intersección de género y discapacidad durante COVID [Microsoft Word] (43 downloads)

Si desea respaldar esta Declaración, envíe su nombre, país, nombre de la organización, si corresponde, y dirección de correo electrónico a WEICOVID19Survey@gmail.com.

 Downloads of documents on our website are measured anonymously.