- September 14, 2021

Though the reality of women and girls with disabilities and their vulnerability to violence is dire, the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and its members find hope in the nuanced approach of the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution on ‘Accelerating efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls: preventing and responding to all forms of violence against women and girls with disabilities’. Most notable is the recognition it gives to the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that women and girls with disabilities face that result in violence. This Resolution was recently adopted by consensus (A/HRC/RES/47/15).

The advance in internationally agreed language has been a demand of IDA’s, its members and other organizations of women and girls with disabilities for a very long time. The Resolution also has the clearest articulation of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights in any UN Resolution to date.

Some of the important highlights of the Resolution include:

  • Expansion of the definitionof violence against women and girls to include social and economic harm;
  • Recognizing that forced institutionalization is a form of violence that deprives women and girls of liberty on the basis of disability;
  • Expanding the definition of harmful practices to include forced sterilization, forced abortion and forced contraception;
  • Addressing intersectional forms of discrimination against older women, indigenous women and migrants, and new language onpersons with disabilities of African and Asian descent;
  • Urging States to prevent and respond to the increase in violence against women and girls, including those with disabilities, amid the COVID-19 pandemic by integrating accessible and inclusive prevention, response and protection systems into any pandemic response and recovery plans;
  • Reaffirming sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, free from coercion, discrimination and violence, including full respect for dignity, integrity and bodily autonomy; and
  • Stressing the importance of ensuring the full, effective and meaningful participation and inclusion of all women and girls with disabilities in decision-making processes and leadership roles by involving and supporting organisations of and led by persons with disabilities.

IDA would like to congratulate Canada on the successful facilitation of the Resolution and expresses appreciation to all States for constructive engagement in the negotiations.

This resulted in a robust and progressive text reflecting human rights standards and expressing strong commitments from States to respond appropriately to the scourge of violence against women and girls with disabilities by respecting, protecting and fulfilling their rights.

We wish also to thank all 79 cosponsors, from all regions of the world, and look forward to the prompt and effective implementation of the Resolution.

Read IDA’s detailed note on the Resolution here.

Read the original Resolution here

For further information, contact Jarrod Clyne jclyne [at] (here).

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