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EU Parliament Draft report on disabled women


2009 – 2014 Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality
on women with disabilities
Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality
Rapporteur: Angelika Werthmann
See full report ( )

“It is proven that women with disabilities are at greater risk to experience violence than other women; in patriarchy orientated societies the risk increases explicitly. Violence can manifest itself in various forms: forced sexual acts and rape, forced assignment to care facilities, lock up, intrusions in private spheres, forced sterilisation, forced contraception, forced abortion (to name only a few examples).

In general the involvement of people with disabilities and NGOs in the creation of new norms should become standard procedure, because it is the only way to act ‘with’ people with disabilities and not ‘on’ them. Inclusion means to be able to live freely in a society, to contribute to it; it is imperative to maintain and guarantee minimum standards in the areas of citizens’ rights and human rights. Therefore a clear and non-discriminatory definition of disability is fundamental, the use of the definition of the UN-Convention of disabilities is highly recommended.

It is to be stated, that women with disabilities are defined by multiple factors, disability being only one of them; they have to be treated as equal and fully adequate citizens and persons.PE514.581v01-00 10/10 PR940318EN.doc Quite the opposite happens in the areas of culture and media, concerning the fact that women with disabilities are rarely featured and that such featuring would help to break down mental barriers and limits.

Viewing disability as a deficit is not accurate, but leads to an exclusive way of thinking that should be prevented. Diversity is the base of any modern society; it can and should be aspired. In 2002 38% of the people with a disability (aged 16-34) have earned an income (non-disabled people: 64%), today in 2013 there are still not enough opportunities for women with disabilities to partake in the labour market. It is extremely important to enable every woman with a disability who can work to carry out her plan to gain independence and be able to start her own career.
Due to multiple overlaying discrimination women with disabilities are often in a considerably worse situation than women without disabilities. This kind of unequal treatment has to be banished, especially considering that a combinational discussion of discrimination thematic is essential. A debate on the topic of women with disabilities can and should not be administered
without considering gender mainstreaming and gender equality. Concerning this connection the effects of multiple discrimination are decreased and consciousness is raised. In general a special focus should be placed on the elimination of stereotypes and prejudices to understand
that the development of a culture of difference and diversity leads to great societal advantages.”

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