Year

2011

Targeted efforts needed to eradicate violence against women and girls with disabilities

IDA calls for urgent and concerted measures to eradicate violence against women and girls with disabilities worldwide, and to address the causes and effects of violence for the full and equal participation by women and girls with disabilities in all aspects of society.

Women and girls with disabilities experience multiple discrimination, placing them at a higher risk of gender based violence, sexual abuse, neglect, maltreatment and exploitation.  They are subjected to violence both within and outside the home, and by practices condoned by the State which permit and sometimes target women and girls with disabilities for forced sterilisation, forced abortion, forced contraception, and other forms of involuntary treatment including institutionalisation, which have been deemed to amount to torture or cruel or inhuman or degrading treatment by the former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and UN treaty bodies.  Seeking remedies and accessing justice is often out of reach for women and girls with disabilities, as is their participation in violence prevention and protection programmes. 

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) prohibits all forms of violence, exploitation and abuse against women and girls with disabilities. IDA calls for a review of all programmes and strategies aimed at eliminating and addressing violence against women and girls to ensure that they are inclusive of women and girls with disabilities, and urges States to adopt targeted measures to ensure women and girls with disabilities can access justice and exercise their right to redress on an equal basis with others. Implicit in this call is the collection of disaggregated data by sex, age, region, and disability, in order to more accurately capture the current situation of violence against women and girls with disabilities in view of formulating stronger responses and strategies to effectively prevent and eliminate violence against women. Diane Richler, IDA Chair, affirmed, “Violence against women and girls with disabilities remains an emergency situation today; it is a cause and consequence of the violation of their rights and their continued marginalisation.  States must take active steps to confront this emergency and advance the status of women and girls with disabilities as equal citizens in society”.

 

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