- Lead Story, News

We Cannot Keep Leaving Women With Disabilities Behind In Leadership

Group work at a workshop in Cameroon to support people with disabilities address gender based violence. Credit: Sightsavers.

“Women hold up half the sky, but they usually do not occupy half of the seats in the positions of influence” – Marcia VJ Cran, member of UN Human Rights committee.

One in five women worldwide have a disability. Yet 15 years after 180 countries adopted the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, we are still among the most marginalised and poorest in society, often experiencing dual discrimination.

It’s vital that the voices of women with disabilities are heard when decisions are made that will affect their lives and that they are fairly represented in leadership positions across society. Unfortunately, we are still a long way from this being achieved.

Discrimination happens across all spheres of life, from those living in poverty to those who in positions of power, and in all countries. Girls and women with disabilities may face up to ten times more violence than those without disabilities. Shockingly, the literacy rate for women with disabilities may be as low as 1%.

In some parts of Africa, vulnerability to sexual violence, rape and HIV is aggravated by the myth that sex with a woman with a disability, particularly albinism, will cure AIDS. Women with disabilities also make up the majority of those targeted by accusations of witchcraft.

Covid-19 has only made our lot worse. Research by the UN has shown that in almost all contexts and all around the world, women and girls with disabilities have been left behind in the pandemic. They have struggled to meet their basic needs, access health services, and have faced disproportionate risks of violence.

What’s worse is that most of this discrimination and violence goes unreported and unpunished. Existing laws, policies, and programmes on gender-based violence rarely address the situation of those with disabilities. It is also difficult to find quality data broken down by both gender and disability, making it difficult to get an accurate understanding of the experiences of women and girls with disabilities. We do not even have an accurate estimate of the number of women with disabilities in Africa, and so we continue to be invisible to the public and policymakers.

A seat at the table

Many of these issues boil down to the simple fact of representation and lack of it.

In 2011, the UN resolution on women’s political participation stated that “women in every part of the world continue to be largely marginalised from the political sphere”. It explained that this is the result of various factors including “discriminatory laws, practices, attitudes and gender stereotypes, low levels of education, lack of access to health care and the disproportionate effect of poverty on women”.

Over a decade later, this statement is just as true. Women still represent a minority of decision-makers worldwide, and there is no official data on the political representation of women with disabilities. For us, the barriers are even higher, and the discrimination often doubled.

Some progress has been made, but not nearly enough. Women, and particularly women with disabilities, still remain unheard in far too many decision-making processes. This is why, in 2019, I and 18 other women with disabilities in leadership positions signed a declaration urging UN member states to fully comply with their obligations to the rights of women and girls with disabilities.

So much of the problem also lies around perceptions about what women with disabilities are capable of, including among women themselves. Pascaline Mekati Matoko, founder of Deaf Rights Cameroon Association, has said that when trying to get women involved in advocacy, “disabled women are still afraid to participate like everyone else”.

We need to change this narrative and work with women (and men) to challenge stereotypes. I love seeing the change from a woman with a disability thinking she’s good for nothing to saying “I can”.

The difference possible

I know first-hand the difference that having women at the table can make from my experience with the UN Committee for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Before 2020, there was no gender parity on the committee, and in 2018 there was only one woman out of eighteen members. This meant none of the sub-committees had any women involved and their voices weren’t represented when holding states to account.

Since we have had gender parity, we have re-established the working group specifically on women and girls with disabilities. Along with the CRC Committee on children, we have launched a joint statement on the rights of children with disabilities. Women now sit on all sub-committees. This ensures that when countries are guided on their approach to ensuring disability rights, women’s voices are represented.

It’s amazing that we have come so far, but we need to ensure that these successes are not lost and to make sure we build on them. I am part of the Equal UN campaign, which is calling for diversity and fair representation across all ten UN human rights bodies, where women are underrepresented. This is the case particularly for women from low and middle income countries and continents like Africa, and women with diverse disability types.

For the world to be truly inclusive, women from a diverse range of backgrounds need to be fairly represented in leadership roles. Governments need to commit to tackling some of the most pervasive forms of exclusion that women experience, particularly women with disabilities, and ensure that they are involved in making policies that affect their lives. We have all the methods and knowledge available to do this; it is just the commitment, financing and work that needs to be done.

33 thoughts on “We Cannot Keep Leaving Women With Disabilities Behind In Leadership

  1. Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  2. Thank you so much for providing individuals with an extraordinarily splendid opportunity to read articles and blog posts from this web site. It’s usually so nice and jam-packed with a lot of fun for me personally and my office acquaintances to visit your blog at the least 3 times weekly to read the fresh things you have got. And lastly, I’m also actually pleased with your mind-blowing opinions you give. Selected 3 areas in this posting are essentially the most suitable I’ve had.

  3. I have to express appreciation to you for rescuing me from this particular crisis. Right after looking out through the internet and getting solutions which are not helpful, I thought my life was well over. Being alive without the approaches to the issues you have sorted out all through your main article content is a critical case, as well as ones that would have adversely affected my entire career if I had not encountered your website. Your good expertise and kindness in taking care of every part was useful. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I had not come across such a solution like this. I can also now look forward to my future. Thanks a lot very much for this specialized and results-oriented guide. I won’t be reluctant to refer your web blog to anybody who should get care about this problem.

  4. I want to point out my respect for your generosity giving support to those people who should have guidance on this area of interest. Your personal commitment to passing the message along became astonishingly significant and has usually helped others like me to achieve their targets. Your insightful guideline indicates so much a person like me and even more to my mates. Regards; from all of us.

  5. A powerful share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing just a little analysis on this. And he in fact purchased me breakfast as a result of I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading extra on this topic. If doable, as you change into expertise, would you mind updating your weblog with more particulars? It’s highly helpful for me. Massive thumb up for this weblog post!

  6. I not to mention my friends came reading the excellent tricks from the blog then suddenly got an awful feeling I had not expressed respect to the blog owner for those strategies. All the people happened to be as a consequence joyful to read through all of them and have now honestly been making the most of those things. Appreciation for genuinely really helpful and also for finding variety of amazing topics millions of individuals are really wanting to be aware of. Our own sincere apologies for not expressing appreciation to you earlier.

  7. I have to convey my passion for your kindness supporting men and women who actually need assistance with this important concept. Your real commitment to passing the solution along had been wonderfully helpful and have made men and women much like me to arrive at their objectives. This important key points implies this much a person like me and somewhat more to my office workers. Regards; from each one of us.

  8. I needed to draft you that bit of observation in order to say thanks a lot once again considering the beautiful concepts you’ve shared at this time. It’s certainly unbelievably generous with you to make publicly all that a lot of people could have offered as an e book to end up making some cash on their own, notably now that you could possibly have tried it in case you wanted. Those tips additionally acted to be the good way to comprehend most people have the same dreams much like mine to know the truth whole lot more with regards to this matter. I am certain there are lots of more pleasurable sessions in the future for those who browse through your website.

  9. I actually wanted to compose a message to say thanks to you for these great items you are showing at this website. My long internet investigation has at the end of the day been recognized with extremely good content to exchange with my relatives. I would repeat that we readers actually are unquestionably fortunate to exist in a superb website with very many awesome individuals with interesting advice. I feel very lucky to have encountered your entire web page and look forward to so many more entertaining times reading here. Thanks again for all the details.

  10. I wish to express appreciation to this writer for bailing me out of this type of crisis. As a result of searching through the online world and finding tips that were not powerful, I assumed my life was well over. Being alive minus the strategies to the problems you’ve solved all through your main short article is a crucial case, and the ones which could have negatively affected my entire career if I hadn’t come across your web page. Your talents and kindness in controlling a lot of stuff was useful. I am not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t encountered such a point like this. I can now relish my future. Thank you so much for the skilled and effective guide. I will not think twice to recommend your web site to any person who would like guidance about this problem.

  11. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

  12. I want to get across my appreciation for your generosity for visitors who need help with this particular idea. Your special dedication to passing the message all through had become especially effective and have without exception allowed others just like me to arrive at their dreams. Your amazing insightful tips and hints indicates a whole lot to me and still more to my colleagues. Thanks a ton; from everyone of us.

  13. I’m writing to make you know of the cool encounter my cousin’s princess encountered reading yuor web blog. She discovered lots of details, most notably what it’s like to have an ideal helping spirit to have many more quite simply thoroughly grasp specific impossible matters. You actually did more than people’s desires. I appreciate you for churning out these powerful, healthy, explanatory not to mention unique tips on this topic to Gloria.

  14. Needed to draft you the little note to finally give many thanks yet again for those pleasing concepts you’ve provided at this time. It has been simply unbelievably generous with you to give extensively what exactly some people would’ve marketed as an electronic book in order to make some cash for their own end, most notably considering that you might well have done it in case you considered necessary. These creative ideas likewise worked to be a great way to realize that most people have the same keenness just as mine to know the truth many more pertaining to this condition. I think there are lots of more fun times up front for individuals that view your website.

  15. Thank you for every one of your efforts on this blog. Debby delights in doing investigation and it is easy to understand why. A number of us learn all relating to the compelling tactic you give both useful and interesting tactics through this web blog and therefore foster participation from visitors on the concept so our daughter is becoming educated so much. Take pleasure in the rest of the year. You’re conducting a really good job.

  16. I’m commenting to make you understand what a useful experience my wife’s princess experienced checking the blog. She discovered such a lot of issues, which include how it is like to possess a wonderful giving style to have a number of people without problems master chosen grueling subject matter. You undoubtedly surpassed my expectations. I appreciate you for rendering such useful, healthy, informative and also unique guidance on this topic to Julie.

  17. Thanks for your own labor on this web site. Betty really loves doing research and it’s really simple to grasp why. A number of us learn all about the dynamic tactic you create precious tips through your blog and as well as boost contribution from the others on that concept and our girl is without question understanding a lot. Take advantage of the rest of the new year. You are always performing a useful job.

  18. I as well as my friends came examining the best guides located on your website and so instantly I got a terrible feeling I had not expressed respect to the web blog owner for those secrets. The people appeared to be for that reason passionate to study all of them and already have simply been having fun with them. Appreciate your simply being considerably helpful and then for opting for certain good resources millions of individuals are really wanting to understand about. My honest regret for not saying thanks to earlier.

  19. I would like to express my thanks to this writer for bailing me out of this instance. Right after looking out through the search engines and seeing recommendations which were not productive, I thought my life was gone. Being alive without the presence of solutions to the problems you’ve solved by means of your main report is a crucial case, and the ones which may have in a negative way affected my career if I had not come across the blog. The expertise and kindness in controlling all the stuff was valuable. I’m not sure what I would have done if I had not come across such a solution like this. I am able to at this point relish my future. Thanks a lot very much for your expert and results-oriented guide. I won’t think twice to propose the sites to any person who ought to have tips on this subject matter.

  20. I have to show my appreciation to this writer just for rescuing me from this type of incident. As a result of researching through the the net and getting concepts which are not helpful, I assumed my life was done. Existing devoid of the solutions to the problems you’ve resolved by means of your main guideline is a crucial case, as well as the ones that might have in a negative way affected my entire career if I hadn’t come across your blog post. Your own knowledge and kindness in playing with the whole lot was excellent. I don’t know what I would have done if I had not come across such a thing like this. I can now relish my future. Thanks so much for the skilled and amazing guide. I will not hesitate to refer your web blog to any person who needs and wants assistance about this subject matter.

  21. Needed to put you that tiny word to say thanks the moment again for your personal spectacular tricks you’ve documented on this site. It’s really extremely open-handed of people like you in giving unhampered all most of us would have supplied as an electronic book to get some dough for themselves, specifically given that you might have tried it if you ever wanted. These creative ideas additionally worked to become a good way to fully grasp that other people online have a similar dream much like mine to figure out very much more with reference to this matter. I know there are numerous more pleasurable opportunities ahead for those who start reading your site.

  22. I simply wanted to thank you very much again. I am not sure what I would have implemented in the absence of the tricks revealed by you over such a concern. Certainly was the troublesome case in my position, however , finding out this specialized style you treated it made me to weep with delight. I’m just thankful for your guidance and then wish you find out what a great job that you’re providing educating the others through the use of your blog post. More than likely you’ve never encountered all of us.

  23. Thank you so much for giving everyone a very brilliant chance to read articles and blog posts from this blog. It is often so beneficial and also jam-packed with a great time for me and my office peers to visit your site particularly 3 times every week to learn the newest guides you will have. And of course, I am just certainly amazed considering the outstanding suggestions served by you. Certain 4 tips on this page are indeed the most effective we’ve ever had.

  24. Problems arising from the seasonal influx of magic mushroom pickers into British Columbia were particularly acute in Haida Gwaii, and especially around Massett. In the early 1980’s each mushroom season brought conflicts, referred to by some as the “mushroom wars”, between residents and itinerant mushroom pickers. “Magic mushrooms” as they are colloquially known, have been the focus of intense research in recent years. In late 2018, Compass Pathway’s psilocybin treatment for treatment resistant depression received Breakthrough Therapy designation from the Food and Drug Administration. Make sure you have the right dose ready. Many people find that mushrooms can cause stomach upset for the first 60-90 minutes of their experience, which can be distracting. Taking the mushrooms in tea reduces this effect– chop the mushrooms up, boil them for 20 minutes, and drink the liquid (the mushrooms that remain will also still be active, but weakened). With tea, you will feel the effects more quickly and you also might come down more quickly. https://www.hairdyeforum.com/profile/jorjakaiser5303/ The report from Deloitte Canada and provincial pot distributor, the Ontario Cannabis Store, says about $25.2 billion of that contribution comes from labour income and 151,000 jobs. Health Canada. ARCHIVED – market data under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations. Available at: http://www.canada.ca en health-canada services drugs-medication cannabis licensed-producers market-data.html Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada since 2001, and Justin Trudeau’s government has spent two years working to expand that to include recreational use. Ms. May said that although one of the goals of legalization was to eliminate the black market, almost 40 per cent of Canadians continue to buy cannabis through illegal channels. In addition to these standard promised outcomes (which advocates of drug legalization all over the world make), there are other dimensions, such as the environmental impact of the legalization, that are rarely, if ever, discussed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *