HRC49: Annual Debate on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

This statement was broadcasted at the 49th Session of the Human Rights Council Annual Debate on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on March 14th, 2022. Click here to watch the statement being delivered.

I am Rounak Jahan, making a statement on behalf of WDDF Women with Disabilities in Development in Bangladesh and Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) with support from an endorsement of various organisations which includes Disabled people’s Organisations. 

Through this statement, we urge the States to implement their obligation to collect appropriate information, including statistical and research data to ensure that policies and laws effectively protect the rights of persons with disabilities, in particular the rights of women and girls with disabilities and young people with disabilities in all their diversities. Currently, the lack of data, with regards to the lived-in realities of women and girls with disabilities, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights, prevents them from being accurately reflected in policies and programmes, leading to persons with disabilities being denied access to spaces for empowerment and lead lives on an equal basis with others.

Women and girls with disabilities, their health, well-being and concerns continue to be non-prioritized.  The lack of crucial data on the issues faced by women and girls with disabilities is one of the key reasons why persons with disabilities are unable to fully participate in their public and private life. Ensuring unrestricted access to information, services and opportunities is of paramount importance in the realization of rights of persons with disabilities and therefore data collection and research is needed to bring favourable changes at levels whether it is attitudinal, organizational or systemic, infrastructural or physical, information or communications including through technology. 

The COVID 19 pandemic and the parallel shadow pandemic of rising sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls have made it imperative that information provided on essential services including sexual and reproductive health services are transparent, confidential, accessible and affordable through delivery of services using virtual reality tools, wearable medical devices, telehealth, and 5G mobile technology. While technological access has benefited women and girls with disabilities there remains existing challenges and barriers in accessing healthcare services including sexual and reproductive health and rights as digitisation can risk the e-exclusion of persons with disabilities with little or no access to technology and the inclusion of all women and girls with disabilities can only be made possible if the process is informed through a comprehensive data collection and research. 

We urge States to ensure that a holistic,gender responsive, intersectional and human rights-based approach is adopted when collecting data or conducting research so that the solutions provided through policies and development initiatives are such that is able to touch the lives of persons of disabilities regardless of their age, identity, gender, types of disability, their socio-economic status, geographical location, class, caste and others. Data collection and research and sharing of information in a public domain  are therefore  important tool for capturing the impact of various factors affecting the lives, health and well-being of persons with disabilities.

We urge the States to take the following actions:

  • Gather more evidence/data on health and well-being of women and girls with disabilities including with regards to their sexual and reproductive health and rights, disability and non-communicable disease to understand the experiences of women and girls with disabilities.
  • Use the data or research collected to inform and enable resource allocation to allow for infrastructural and policy developments that advance rights of persons with disabilities.
  • Invest in building a pool of women researcher/statistician with disabilities in data collection, research and include them in decision-making and implementation roles to enable inclusivity and to allow for their voices to be heard.
  • Work closely with NGOs, CSOs and disability rights-based organisations and use the resources available to them towards data collection and research on persons with disabilities.
  • Close the digital divide by increasing the digital literacy of persons with disabilities, particularly, women and girls with disabilities and encourage local innovators to develop user and budget friendly smartphones, apps and other telecommunication devices.

Endorsed by:

  1. Turning Point Bangladesh
  2. Access Bangladesh Foundation
  3. Disabled Child Foundation
  4. National Council of Disabled Women
  5. Alliance of Urban DPOs

Vietnam

  • Centre for Creative Initiatives in Health and Population (CCIHP)

Indonesia

  • Aliansi Satu Visi (ASV);
  • CEDAW Working Group;
  • Hollaback! Jakarta;
  • Institut Kapal Perempuan;
  • Kalyanamitra;
  • Komnas Perempuan;
  • Remaja Independen Papua/Independent Youth
    Forum Papua (FRIP/IYFP);
  • Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI);
  • Perkumpulan Lintas Feminis Jakarta;
  • Perkumpulan Pamflet Generasi;
  • RUTGERS Indonesia;
  • Sanggar SWARA;
  • Women on Web;
  • Yayasan Kesehatan Perempuan (YKP); 
  • YIFOS Indonesia

Maldives

  • Hope for Women
  • Society for Health Education (SHE)
HRC49: Annual Debate on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

This statement was broadcasted at the 49th Session of the Human Rights Council Annual Debate on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on March 14th, 2022. Click here to watch the statement being delivered.

I am Rounak Jahan, making a statement on behalf of WDDF Women with Disabilities in Development in Bangladesh and Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) with support from an endorsement of various organisations which includes Disabled people’s Organisations. 

Through this statement, we urge the States to implement their obligation to collect appropriate information, including statistical and research data to ensure that policies and laws effectively protect the rights of persons with disabilities, in particular the rights of women and girls with disabilities and young people with disabilities in all their diversities. Currently, the lack of data, with regards to the lived-in realities of women and girls with disabilities, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights, prevents them from being accurately reflected in policies and programmes, leading to persons with disabilities being denied access to spaces for empowerment and lead lives on an equal basis with others.

Women and girls with disabilities, their health, well-being and concerns continue to be non-prioritized.  The lack of crucial data on the issues faced by women and girls with disabilities is one of the key reasons why persons with disabilities are unable to fully participate in their public and private life. Ensuring unrestricted access to information, services and opportunities is of paramount importance in the realization of rights of persons with disabilities and therefore data collection and research is needed to bring favourable changes at levels whether it is attitudinal, organizational or systemic, infrastructural or physical, information or communications including through technology. 

The COVID 19 pandemic and the parallel shadow pandemic of rising sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls have made it imperative that information provided on essential services including sexual and reproductive health services are transparent, confidential, accessible and affordable through delivery of services using virtual reality tools, wearable medical devices, telehealth, and 5G mobile technology. While technological access has benefited women and girls with disabilities there remains existing challenges and barriers in accessing healthcare services including sexual and reproductive health and rights as digitisation can risk the e-exclusion of persons with disabilities with little or no access to technology and the inclusion of all women and girls with disabilities can only be made possible if the process is informed through a comprehensive data collection and research. 

We urge States to ensure that a holistic,gender responsive, intersectional and human rights-based approach is adopted when collecting data or conducting research so that the solutions provided through policies and development initiatives are such that is able to touch the lives of persons of disabilities regardless of their age, identity, gender, types of disability, their socio-economic status, geographical location, class, caste and others. Data collection and research and sharing of information in a public domain  are therefore  important tool for capturing the impact of various factors affecting the lives, health and well-being of persons with disabilities.

We urge the States to take the following actions:

  • Gather more evidence/data on health and well-being of women and girls with disabilities including with regards to their sexual and reproductive health and rights, disability and non-communicable disease to understand the experiences of women and girls with disabilities.
  • Use the data or research collected to inform and enable resource allocation to allow for infrastructural and policy developments that advance rights of persons with disabilities.
  • Invest in building a pool of women researcher/statistician with disabilities in data collection, research and include them in decision-making and implementation roles to enable inclusivity and to allow for their voices to be heard.
  • Work closely with NGOs, CSOs and disability rights-based organisations and use the resources available to them towards data collection and research on persons with disabilities.
  • Close the digital divide by increasing the digital literacy of persons with disabilities, particularly, women and girls with disabilities and encourage local innovators to develop user and budget friendly smartphones, apps and other telecommunication devices.

Endorsed by:

  1. Turning Point Bangladesh
  2. Access Bangladesh Foundation
  3. Disabled Child Foundation
  4. National Council of Disabled Women
  5. Alliance of Urban DPOs

Morocco

  • Association Marocaine de Planification Familiale (AMPF),
  • Morocco Family Planning Association

India

  • CommonHealth;
  • Love Matters India;
  • Pravah;
  • Rural Women’s Social Education Centre (RUWSEC);
  • SAHAYOG;
  • Sahaj;
  • Sahiyo;
  • SAMA – Resource Group for Women and Health;
  • WeSpeakOut;
  • The YP Foundation (TYPF)

Lao PDR

  • Lao Women’s Union;
  • The Faculty of Postgraduate Studies at the University of Health
    Sciences (UHS)

Sri Lanka

  • Bakamoono;
  • Women and Media Collective (WMC),
  • Youth Advocacy Network – Sri Lanka (YANSL)

Malaysia

  • Federation of Reproductive Health Associations of Malaysia (FRHAM);
  • Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG);
  • Justice for Sisters (JFS);
  • Reproductive Health Association of
    Kelantan (ReHAK);
  • Reproductive Rights Advocacy Alliance Malaysia (RRAAM);
  • Sisters in Islam (SIS)

Maldives

  • Hope for Women;
  • Society for Health Education (SHE)

Myanmar

  • Colourful Girls Organization;
  • Green Lotus Myanmar

Nepal

  • Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC);
  • Blind Youth Association of Nepal;
  • Blue Diamond Society (BDS);
  • Nepalese Youth for Climate Action (NYCA);
  • Visible Impact;
  • Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC);
  • YPEER Nepal;
  • YUWA

Pakistan

  • Aahung, Centre for Social Policy Development (CSPD);
  • Forum for Dignity Initiative (FDI);
  • Gravity Development Organization; Green Circle Organization;
  • Indus Resources Center (IRC);
  • Idara-e-Taleem-O-Aaghai (ITA);
  • Rehnuma – Family Planning Association Pakistan;
  • Shelter
    Participatory Organisation;
  • Shirkat Gah;
  • The Enlight Lab

Philippines

  • Democratic Socalist Women of the Philippines (DSWP);
  • Galang;
  • Healthcare Without Harm;
  • Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities;
  • Likhaan Centre for Women’s Health;
  • Nisa UI Haqq Fi Bangsamoro;
  • PATH Foundation Inc. (PFPI);
  • Women’s Global Network for
    Reproductive Rights (WGNRR)

Singapore

  • End Female Genital Cutting Singapore
  • Reproductive Rights (WGNRR)

Mongolia

  • MONFEMNET National Network