AWID Encounters Issue 5: The Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities

October 22, 2012
Source: AWID

At WILD women with disabilities, some of them AWID members, celebrate their strength and solidarity, while generating plans to revolutionize the status of women with disabilities around the world in education, employment, HIV and AIDS, violence prevention, legal rights and political power.  

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Women with Disabilities and Economic Rights by Gabriela De Cicco (AWID)


It is estimated that 19% of women around the world live with some kind of disability. The lack of proper accessibility, education and bias by the broader society hinder the full exercise and enjoyment of their human rights. AWID spoke to Maria Veronica Reina, Executive Director of

Global Partnership for Disability and Development to examine how women with disability are faring in terms of economic rights.

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Strengthening Women's Rights Organizations through Inclusion


How can women's rights organizations assist with breaking down some of the barriers that disabled women face? Here are a few suggestions [1] for getting started:


Start off by doing MIUSA's "Checklist for Inclusion" [] which provides a simple self-assessment guide for organizations looking to bring the experiences and contributions of women and men with disabilities into their organization.

Create leadership opportunities for disabled women and girls by including them in your programs, meetings, and activities. And don't just extend an invitation but actively seek out participants with

disabilities! Ensure that meeting spaces are accessible to disabled people (use ramps or ground floor locations). Consider budgeting for inclusion at the start of your organization's fiscal year so that considerations such as accessibility or sign language interpretation are already worked into projects and programs before they begin.

Consider making information/publications available in Braille, large print, audio cassette or DVD for people with visual disabilities.

Investigate how you can make your website accessible for people with visual disabilities by visiting online resources such as the Web Accessibility Initiative [].

Building friendships and relationships with either women you know who have a disability or with local disability organizations may in fact be the most effective means of strengthening your organization or movement.



 [1] "Strengthening Women's Rights Organizations Through Inclusion:

Lessons learned from the gender, disability and development institute."

Resource Net Friday File, September 15 2006.