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    • #8393
      DSamarasan
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      In the U.S., women’s history month (March) just concluded; international women’s day was March 8th. According to global statistics on persons with disabilities, there are more women with disabilities than men with disabilities, and this percentage increases where there is more poverty. At least one in every 5 women are disabled. Still, women with disabilities are not leading most disability movements or organizations and are rarely included in broader women’s rights movements. What needs to happen to change this situation?

    • #8406
      eEsma Gumberidze
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      internally many OPD-s are not gender sensative. Mostly decision-makers within OPD-s are men. OPD-s do not have enough resources to be searching for opportunities to engage in gender equality discussions. Many of these discussions take place in inaccessible formats and venues. Externally there is lack of proactive action from those working on gender equality issues to involve persons, especially women with disabilities. Women with disabilities do not make decisions in most of women’s organizations.

      • #8705
        DSamarasan
        • Participant
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        So true! You have described many of the top barriers within the disability movement and the feminist movement.

    • #8408
      Sue Swenson
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      Perhaps one internal barrier is the active exclusion of family caregivers/supported/assistants, many of whom are mothers, wives, sisters and daughters of disabled people.  Too many policies ( or lack of them) force disabled people to rely on familial support but it is just taken for granted, with no consultation with the women involved, and usually they are way too busy or too tired to be consulted anyway. Or to advocate or even vote.  And yet many disabled people repeat that family members are not rights holders under the CRPD. But are they not human? Surely they are rights holders somewhere.  Love should not exact such a toll.

      • #8706
        DSamarasan
        • Participant
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        Hi Sue! True that women (whether disabled or not) play more support roles than men, and men (whether disabled or not) take the stage more often than women.

    • #8508
      Mina Mojtahedi
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      I find that there are systemic issues that are reinforcing silos and barriers. How often do we see policies that list those whom are intended to benefit from the policies as: women and girls, persons with disabilities, children, older persons, etc… Are we unintentionally reinforcing the gender-lessness of persons with disabilities and other silos? An important element of inclusive policies is basing it on disaggregated data. How can we ensure that data is not just disaggregated by sex, age and disability but that we gain data on their intersections, i.e. on women, girls, men, boys, with and without disabilities, as well as non-binary gender identities? Public policy works in silos and bends poorly to addressing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination. Granted, its not easy to design solutions that take into account intersections of various factors and identities. Thats where the gender equality and disability rights movements need to step out of their silos and work together and cohesively.

      Both the gender equality and disability rights movements have historically overlooked the intersections of gender and disability, and, even though there are positive trends, they continue to do so to a large extent today. Stakeholders and actors advancing gender equality lack the capacity on disability issues and also often the knowledge to recognize the diversity among women and the unique forms of discrimination that are a result of intersections between gender and disability. Likewise those working to promote rights of persons with disabilities tend to assume that generally advancing rights of persons with disabilities benefits all persons with disabilities regardless of genders and identities. Both movements even use different language for practically the same thing, eg. transformative change to address harmful gender norms and stereotypes vs. raising awareness on disability to address stigma. Perhaps by recognizing commonalities between gender-responsive/transformative and disability-inclusive policies we might better be able to involve disability rights actors in gender equality policy discussions and vice versa.

      • #8707
        DSamarasan
        • Participant
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        Mina – I love this reply. You are so right that too often, persons with disabilities are considered gender- (and sex-) less. I remember one woman with disability activist speaking to a women’s rights funder and telling them that she was tired of having her application forwarded to disability funders. She was a woman first! We humans do have trouble with complex and intersectional identities. We like to silo identities and issues and approaches. But life is so much more complicated and interwoven. Thank you for lifting this up!

    • #8691
      Ali
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      Women with disabilities are more less likely to have received formal education than their men counterparts and therefore cannot equally participate in the leadership of disability movements like the men. This is because such leadership roles require some level of formal education in most circumstances which women with disabilities do not have. To remedy, in addition to all other policies and measures to increase educational access for women with disabilities, deliberate action such as mentorship and support through personal assistance to enable them operate effectively in those roles would be needed.

      Again negative perceptions and attitudes that inhibit women without disabilities in leadership roles also affect even more women with disabilities. Sensitising and creating awareness of these among women with disabilities be good. Since an old saying goes like: ‘to be fore warned is to be fore armed’ .(I am sorry if I got the quote wrong).

      In some situations or countries too, one’s financial standing can be an enabler to gaining leadership positions and this, women with disabilities tend to have very little than their men counterparts. Continued sustainable support for their income or livelihood generation is required to be financially independent and sound as well as other measures that would directly support their campaigns and leadership journeys with funds would be required.

      • #8708
        DSamarasan
        • Participant
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        Thank you Ali! You are so right that lack of access to education and assets/resources is more acute for women generally and particularly for women with disabilities – and that this has an impact on participation. There is starting to be a shift towards valuing lived experience, but much more needs to change.

    • #9033
      Pradeep Bagival
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      Thanks for this opportunity to respond to a very pertinent question and wish to  highlight the barriers for organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) and women in developing countries which is home to more than 80% of persons with disabilities. Thanks to the  ratification of the CRPD by the state parties in developing countries , many governments are according recognition to OPDs and participation of women with disabilities. Disability stakeholders such as  governments/ UN/ CSOs  including govts in LDCs  are seeking disaggregated data on how many men and women with disabilities were part of the policy consultations organized.

      Gender equality is implicitly mentioned  in the national constitutions and national disability legislations . However these provisions often not implemented and women with disabilities continue to be excluded in the decision- making process . At the global level, it was during the  2016 elections of the CRPD committee that the issue of gender equality became prominent as women were not equally represented in this august committee that is expected to look into issues of exclusion of OPDs and especially women with disabilities. It is interesting to read the Infographic of the G Equal Campaign which stated that since the beginning of 2017 , only one woman had served as a member among the CRPD 18 committee members. In 2020 elections , it was heartening to know that the State Parties had elected more women than men in that year’s election and to achieve the gender parity.

      Among the internal barriers at the national level  , many OPDs are still led by  men with disabilities and women with disabilities are fewer in number. In many developing countries we see organizations of women with disabilities being established and playing a significant role by getting engaged in policy discussions  and promoting gender equality at the national level. Education , accessibility, community  support services and other factors contributing to independent living impact the role of women with disabilities getting involved in policy discussions.

      One noticeable fact is that the  OPDs and women with disabilities have more opportunities to participate in the policy discussions on gender equality  in developing countries that are ranked high in terms of  rule of law . UN entities have a predominant role to play in  promoting the participation of OPDs and especially women with disabilities in developing and least developed countries.  As development partners and rendering technical support and cooperation to national governments, UN should amplify the voices of OPDs and women with disabilities in the policy discussions.  In many countries , UN Country Teams need to engage   effectively with OPDs and this is evident from the report of the UN Secretary General, 2020  on the implementation of the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy, which states that the engagement of the UN system with OPDs have not been undertaken in a systemic, inclusive and accessible manner and 69% of the UN entities miss the requirement for this indicator.

       

    • #9132
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      External Barriers

      • Stakeholders and actors advancing gender equality lack the capacity on disability issues and also often the knowledge to recognize the diversity among women and the unique forms of discrimination that are a result of intersections between gender and disbaility
      • Negative perceptions and attitudes that limit the participation of organizations of women with disabilities impact their involvement in policy discussions impacting on gender equality
      • Discussions on gender equality sometimes happen in inaccessible formats or locations hindering the involvement of women with disabilities

       

      Internal Barriers

      • Inadequate resources to participate or engage in gender equality discussions
      • Limited opportunities to engage in gender equality discussions
      • Lack of experience and training in policy discussions limits their involvement
      • Inaccessible information on the on going discussions on gender equality

       

      External Barriers

      • Lack of knowledge about disability issues and how they relate them to gender equality
      • Limited programs geared towards gender equality among women with disabilities and persons with disabilities organization
      • No focus for gender equality in all interventions in our disability organizations

      Internal barriers 

      •       Limited skills and experience in gender equality policy development
      •       Lack of data collection and disaggregate data on gender to give facts and figures in relation to disability and gender equality
      •       In accessible environment and lack of reasonable accommodation for all persons with disabilities including wwds
      •  Lack of capacity building in understanding gender equality
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  • The topic ‘What are the external and internal barriers for organizations of persons with disabilities, and especially women with disabilities, to be involved in policy discussions impacting on gender equality at national and global levels?’ is closed to new replies.