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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
Collaborating with organisations of people with disabilities (OPDs) on our inclusive education projects has earned the Sightsavers-led Inclusive Futures consortium a Zero Project Award in 2024.
Sightsavers’ Hortance Manjo shares insights from the event in Zambia, which highlighted eye health for the first time.
Eye health has an impact on numerous Sustainable Development Goals, and has a ripple effect that improves gender equity, education, economic and health outcomes.