To mark the International Women Day 2013, seminar of women with disabilities in development was organized with Government of Pakistan, CHEF International, National Forum of Women with Disabilities on March 8, 2013 in Islamabad, Wife of Ambassador of Saudi Arabia,H.E Abdullah bin Andul Ghadir honored us with her participation and expressed her commitment to take practical steps towards the implementation of UNCRPD.
Each year around the world, thousands of events occur to mark the achievements of women on the day. This year The Day will be commemorated under a general theme “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women”.
Despite all these initiatives, the particular vulnerabilities and contributions of women with disabilities are overlooked. Women with disabilities are disadvantaged in several key areas when compared with other women, men with disabilities, and the society as a whole. These women face a triple handicap and discrimination due to their disability, gender and developing world status. If particular attention is not paid towards inclusion and participation of women with disabilities, they will remain largely “invisible” and will not be in a position to access basic human rights.
In solidarity with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, being a key stakeholder in the disability sector National Forum of Women with Disabilities initiate and plan the activities to observe the day which would add much value to the cause.
Ms. Munaza (Sightsavers), Ms. Nasreen Aziz (Charagh-e-Manzil), Dr. Kazu K Nagata (UNESCO), Dr. Rubina (ICCO), Mr. Aman (CHEF International) and Ms. Naima Bushra (NISE) appreciated the effort and ensured that women with disabilities will be involved in the processes of all kinds of development interventions. Mr. Atif from STEP addressed, observance of the Day globally provides opportunities for participation by all stakeholders – Governments, the UN system, civil society and organizations– to focus on the concerns of women, these trainings and meetings will be a tool to include the perspective of women with disabilities in the agenda.
Ms. Abia Akram addressed, that disability and poverty are intertwined. In fact, the qualitative evident suggests that women with disabilities are significantly poor in developing countries, and more so than non-disabled counterpart. Many women with disabilities are denied education or jobs, the disorder may require chronic health care and these in turn drain the scarce household resources. “Unless women with disabilities are brought into the development mainstream, it will be impossible to cut poverty in half by 2015 or to give every girl and boy the chance to achieve a primary education by the same date which are key among the Millennium Development Goals agreed to by more than 180 world leaders at the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000.”
80-90 disability leaders joined the event. A memorandum from the participants was discussed to work towards the creation of Inclusive society, where women with disabilities can enjoy equal human rights.