Women with disabilities living in low- and middle-income countries are often discriminated against twice: once because of their gender and once because of disability. They’re even less likely to be able to access healthcare, education and employment than men with disabilities or non-disabled women, both of which groups already experience grossly unfair levels of discrimination. (For a brilliantly clear report on the problem and recommendations for change, see the Leonard Cheshire Disability policy briefing, Realising the rights of women and girls with disabilities.)
“They face social isolation and rejection, and are taught that they are inferior to their peers. This has a clear impact on both their own aspirations and their family’s aspirations for them in the future.”
source: UN Fourth World Conference on Women, 1995, quoted in LCD policy briefing
The statistics are staggering:
It’s an incredibly unjust state of affairs, but it doesn’t have to be. With the next set of global poverty-fighting goals (called the Sustainable Development Goals) due to be agreed by world leaders this year, there’s never been a better time to change these inequalities than right now.
†† UN Enable
COVID-19 has shown the need for systems to accommodate the new risks we face. Why not take the opportunity to build them back in a way that is inclusive?
Inclusive Futures, a consortium of 16 global partner organisations advocating for disability inclusion, launched its new website on 20 July.
Sightsavers has identified focus areas for influencing the government and donor agencies to protect people with disabilities from the adverse impacts of COVID-19.