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Manifesto on the Rights of Girls and Women with Disabilities

Protecting the rights of a doubly vulnerable group

2nd EDF Manifesto on the Rights of Women with Disabilities

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Women and girls with disabilities sometimes find it difficult

to protect their rights.

Sometimes they find more problems

than men and boys with disabilities.

There is an organisation in Brussels called

European Disability Forum.

This organisation has a document telling people

how to protect the rights of women and girls with disabilities.

Women and girls with disabilities not only have to face barriers for having a physical or mental impairment, but also for gender reasons. In words of Ana Peláez, chairwoman of the European Disability Forum Women’s Committee, women "with disabilities are victims of a persisting structural inequality".

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The women’s fight for their rights has seen many succeeds within the past years, but the same cannot be said when it comes to women with intellectual disabilities. It is thus important to give them the necessary resources to struggle for equality.

The General Assembly of the European Disability Forum (EDF) adopted last May the 2nd Manifesto on the Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities in the EU during the annual meeting in Budapest. The document contains recommendations on how to protect the rights of this vulnerable group and is particularly addressed to activists and policymakers.

On the one hand, the movements of women without disabilities are still unaware of their needs, while on the other the disability movement has also failed to focus its attention sufficiently on women with disabilities. The EDF manifesto includes recommendations on both of the subjects. It focuses on equality, self-determination, social inclusion and protection, awareness raising, accessibility, education, culture, leisure, health or employment, but also on the prevention of violence against women or on the defence of sexual and reproductive rights.

A 1st Manifesto on the Rights of Girls and Women with Disabilities was launched by EDF on February 1997 in Brussels. Some changes have been achieved since then, but they are not enough. Inclusion Europe welcomes this raising awareness initiative recalling the specific barriers faced by this doubly vulnerable group.

 

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