This submission presents an overview of the main barriers faced by indigenous women and marginalized genders with disabilities to fulfil their human rights at the intersection of gender and disability. It also includes the violations that stemmed from the impact of COVID-19 on their lives, given the urgent need to respond to this issue. Additionally, it highlights how existing human rights standards guide States towards addressing these barriers. The submission concludes with recommendations that we hope will help inform the forthcoming General Recommendation from the CEDAW Committee.
WEI joined forces with Human Rights Watch, Humanity and Inclusion, International Disability Alliance, and Women’s Refugee Commission to submit this short report on women and girls with disabilities in conflict and post-conflict situations to the U.N. Office of the High Commission for Human Rights. This short report will help promote an intersectional approach to the U.N. Human Rights Council’s forthcoming discussions on the 20th anniversary of a groundbreaking Security Council resolution, focusing on the role of women in ensuring peace and security.
Women and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities experience myriad barriers to fulfilling their right to work and employment, due to factors based on both their gender and disability. This submission highlights how discrimination at the intersection of gender and disability leads to significant pay gaps, unemployment, harassment in the workplace, and other issues that disproportionately impact women and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities as related to work and employment, including as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The submission also highlights how other human rights obligations are connected to the right work for women and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities, including the rights to education, to sexual and reproductive health and bodily autonomy, and to be free from violence.
This submission, done in partnership with Disabled Women in Africa (DIWA), highlights human rights abuses against women and girls in Malawi, including in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. The submission describes how intersectional discrimination, gender-based violence, violations of sexual and reproductive rights, and denial of access to justice impact the lives and well-being of women and girls with disabilities in Malawi. The submission includes recommendations for the Human Rights Committee in developing its list of issues for the state review of Malawi.
This submission, produced in partnership between Women Enabled International (WEI), My Life My Choice (U.K.), CIMUNIDIS (Chile), Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre (India), Women with Disabilities India Network, HYPE Sri Lan, ka, and Disabled Women in Africa (Malawi), highlights how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women, girls, and gender non-conforming persons with disabilities. Drawing on research conducted from March to December 2020 in countries around the world, the submission highlights how pre-existing barriers to SRHR were exacerbated during the crisis, while lockdown measures, reallocation of resources away from sexual and reproductive healthcare, and social distancing requirements further limited SRH for this group, as well as the social determinants of health, and some good practices in this regard.
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:
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.
Continue reading Response to U.N. Special Procedures Questionnaire on COVID-19 and Human Rights
April 15, 2019 – This submission, which was endorsed by Ferdous Ara Begum (Gender and Ageing Issues Specialist and former UN CEDAW Committee member) and Lois Herman (Managing Director, Women’s UN Report Network), focuses on human rights issues faced by older women with disabilities, including gender-based violence, institutionalization, gaps in social protection, and barriers to accessing health care. This submission provides data on these issues, a human rights analysis of existing standards, and recommendations to States for how to ensure the rights of older women with disabilities in these contexts. WEI’s submission will inform the Special Rapporteur’s forthcoming report on older persons with disabilities, to be presented to the UN General Assembly in October 2019.
WEI Submission to SR Disability on Older Women with Disabilities PDF
WEI Submission to SR Disability on Older Women with Disabilities Word Doc
10/28 UPDATE: Find the Special Rapporteur’s report here.
February 14, 2019 – This submission to the CEDAW Committee was authored to inform its half-day of general discussion on February 22, 2019, to prepare for the elaboration by the CEDAW Committee of a General Recommendation on Trafficking in Women and Girls in the Context of Global Migration focuses on the trafficking of women and girls with disabilities.
In partnership with Disability Rights International (DRI), WEI enumerated the risks facing women and girls with disabilities to all forms of trafficking. Drawing on field research by DRI and the limited other available research addressing the intersection of disability and trafficking, this submission highlights the barriers and enumerates States’ duties to address the barriers that increase this risk- barriers to accessing information on trafficking and sexuality; isolation and institutionalization; social isolation and lack of quality interpersonal relationships; financial and caregiver dependence; impediments to accessing services and justice; unemployment and poverty; and risk factors inherent in global migration situations.
This submission also covers the need to include women and girls who become disabled as a result of being trafficked in policies and programs aimed at combatting trafficking. Lastly, this submission summarizes the relevant international legal standards and offers suggestions for inclusion in CEDAW’s forthcoming General Recommendation.
Download below. Submission is in English.
WEI DRI CEDAW Trafficking and Migration PDF
WEI DRI CEDAW Trafficking and Migration Word Doc
Co-authored by WEI, La Liga Colombiana de Autismo, Asdown Colombia, Programa de Acción por la Igualdad y la Inclusión Social, and Profamilia
January 28, 2019 – This submission outlines human rights violations in Colombia that uniquely or disproportionately affect women with disabilities, as compared to other women. In particular, the submission documents that Colombian law allows women with disabilities to be stripped of legal capacity, which is a human rights violation in itself and also heightens the risk of other violations, including forced reproductive health interventions and denials of access to justice.
CEDAW Colombia English Summary PDF
CEDAW Colombia English Summary Word Doc
Presentación de WEI, La Liga Colombiana de Autismo, Asdown Colombia, Programa de Acción por la Igualdad y la Inclusión Social y Profamilia ante el Comité CEDAW en el marco de su Revisión Periódica sobre Colombia
18 de Enero de 2019 – La presentación resume las violaciones de derechos humanos que afectan a las mujeres con discapacidad en Colombia de forma única y desproporcionada en comparación con otras mujeres. En particular, explica que la ley colombiana aún permite que las mujeres con discapacidad sean despojadas de su capacidad jurídica, lo que no solo constituye una violación de derechos humanos en sí misma, sino que además aumenta el riesgo de otras violaciones, como intervenciones forzosas en el ámbito de su salud reproductiva y denegaciones de acceso a la justicia.
CEDAW Colombia PDF (Español)
CEDAW Colombia Word Doc (Español)