Year

2012

New York, 7 September 2012 - The meeting was held today on the premises of UN Women between Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director, Assistant Secretary-General for Intergovernmental Support for Strategic Partnerships of UN Women, and a delegation of the International Disability Alliance led by its Chair Yannis Vardakastanis, to discuss the challenge of mainstreaming the rights of women and girls with disabilities within the work of UN Women.

The International Disability Alliance (IDA) requested to meet with UN Women to discuss the ways in which UN WOMEN can contribute more to the empowerment of women and girls with disabilities.

In her opening speech Ms. Puri conveyed UN Women’s commitment to disability, her intention to reduce gender inequality among marginalized groups and her dedication to promoting intersectional empowerment of women and girls.

IDA congratulated UN Women for its outstanding achievements in mainstreaming gender-policy on the global and national level. IDA’s Chair explained the unique way that disability affects all, including those who belong to each specific vulnerable group. Further, IDA’s Chair explained the cross-cutting nature of disability. IDA proposed that in order to advance the rights of women and girls with disabilities, UN Women should establish a senior-level focal point and ensure that the next Strategic Plan of UN Women is disability-inclusive. Furthermore, it was proposed to do a side event during the course of next year’s session of the Commission on the Status of Women with the title “Violence against Women and Girls with Disabilities,”

Ms. Puri welcomed IDA’s proposals. Both Parties immediately entered into a mutual strategic partnership which, on the side of IDA, leverages IDA’s network, outreach capacity, knowledgebase, and advocacy skills. For their part, UN Women will involve IDA in strategic intergovernmental processes, norm setting and contributions to Secretary General’s reports. IDA welcomed the immediate appointment of Ms. Puri’s senior Special Advisor as the focal point coordinator for disability issues, who will begin the planning process for next year´s side event.

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