Addressing gender equality in the context of disability



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Recommended actions
In order to incorporate gender mainstreaming and targeted, women-specific policies and programs, as well as positive legislation in all aspects of disability inclusive development,


  • Use CRPD, CEDAW and other relevant normative instruments to impact the rights of women with disabilities and achieve gender equality, including measures to end physical and sexual violence experienced by women with disabilities.

  • Strengthen the collection, compilation and analysis of national disability data and statistics, disaggregated by sex and age, using existing guidelines on disability measurement.5

  • Increase the leadership and participation in decision-making of women and girls with disabilities, identifying key factors, strategies or approaches that can be shared in this regard.

  • Include the rights and empowerment of women and girls with disabilities, and their inclusion in development policies, programmes, monitoring and evaluation with gender based budgeting at all levels, including international cooperation.

  • Increase cooperation, partnerships, and synergies between UN entities, organizations of women and girls with disabilities, women’s, development, and human rights organizations, among others to provide sustained and sustainable support for the empowerment of women with disabilities.




1 Background Paper for Informal Session on Women with Disabilities, Note by the Secretariat, Fifth Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention, on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (New York, 12-14 September 2012), cites: Helander E, Prejudice and dignity: an introduction to community based rehabilitation, 2nd Edition. New York: UNDP, 1998, available at: http://hrw.org/women/ disabled.html.

2 Arthur O’Reilly, The Right to Decent Work of Persons with Disabilities (pp. 31-33), Skills Working Paper No. 14, Geneva, International Labour Organization, 2003

3 Women in general are more likely than men to become disabled because of poorer working conditions, poor access to quality healthcare, and gender-based violence (ILO), retrieved from the World Bank Website, http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTSOCIALPROTECTION/EXTDISABILITY/0,,contentMDK:20193528~menuPK:418895~pagePK:148956~piPK:216618~theSitePK:282699,00.html


4 This strategy can be retrieved from http://www.unescap.org/publications/detail.asp?id=1523

5 These include (a) the Principles and Recommendations for Population and Housing Censuses, Revision 2; (b) the Guidelines and Principles for the Development of Disability Statistics; (c) the work and methods on disability statistics as approved by the Statistical Commission; and (d) other recently revised tools, such as the WHO disability assessment schedule 2.0.

i Background Paper for Informal Session on Women with Disabilities, Note by the Secretariat, Fifth Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention, on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (New York, 12-14 September 2012), cites: In his 2006 In-Depth Study on All Forms of Violence against Women, the Secretary-General observed that surveys conducted in Europe, North America and Australia have shown that over half of women with disabilities have experienced physical abuse, compared to one third of non-disabled women. A/61/122/Add.1, para. 152, Citing to Human Rights Watch, “Women and girls with disabilities”, available at: http://hrw.org/women/ disabled.html.

ii In his 2006 In-Depth Study on All Forms of Violence against Women, the Secretary-General observed that surveys conducted in Europe, North America and Australia have shown that over half of women with disabilities have experienced physical abuse, compared to one third of non-disabled women. A/61/122/Add.1, para. 152, citing to Human Rights Watch, “Women and girls with disabilities”, available at: http://hrw.org/women/ disabled.html.

iii UNFPA, Sexual and Reproductive Health of Persons with Disabilities, 2009





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