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[16days_discussion] Fwd: Urgent! sign-on letter re need to include women and girls with disabilities in CSW 57!!! Time sensitive...

16 Days 16days at cwgl.rutgers.edu
Wed Sep 5 17:10:18 EDT 2012


Dear Fellow Activists,

Please see the sign-on letter from WomenEnabled about access to the CSW 
and participation from women and girls with disabilities.

Note the deadline is Friday.

In solidarity,
The 16 Days Team

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	[Intlmechanisms] Urgent! sign-on letter re need to include 
women and girls with disabilities in CSW 57!!! Time sensitive...
Date: 	Sun, 2 Sep 2012 16:47:47 -0400
From: 	Stephanie Ortoleva, Esq. <stephanieortoleva at gmail.com>
To: 	<ESCR-FEM at yahoogroups.com>, <intlmechanisms at lists.ushrnetwork.org>



Dear Colleagues,

I have drafted the below letter to various UN entities and associated 
individuals involved with The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 
and in the planning for the 57^th Session of CSW addressing violence 
against women.  The purpose of this letter is to ensure that issues 
concerning violence against women and girls with disabilities are 
addressed and also to ensure that women with disabilities are engaged in 
leadership roles as CSW policies and program planning proceeds.

At past CSW sessions women with disabilities have not been integrated 
into the discussions, major official panels and outcomes, other than at 
side events  organized by women with disabilities.  Women with 
disabilities and our issues have not been part of the Expert Group 
Meetings usually held in September in advance of the CSW session the 
next February-March.  Additionally, the Prepatory Papers rarely include 
issues of women with disabilities.  All this is discussed in greater 
detail in the leter below.

I am seeking organizations to sign on to this letter, which already has 
support from other organizations and individuals.  Unfortunately, the 
time frames are very short as the Expert Group Meeting will be held in 
only a few days in Thailand.

Thus, I am asking you and your organizations to sign on to this letter 
and/or for other organizations who have representatives on this list to 
sign on as well.

Please sign on by this coming Friday, September 7 at noon U.S. Eastern 
time so that I have time to assemble all signatories and get the letter 
to the relevant parties in  a timely fashion to have a positive impact.

I hope you can join on this important effort.  The text of the letter is 
below and, unfortunately, it cannot be changed at this point.

Thank you.

Stephanie

Stephanie Ortoleva, Esq.

International Human Rights Lawyer and Consultant

Founder and President, WomenEnabled <http://www.womenenabled.org>

Co-chair, ASIL International Disability Rights Interest Group 
<http://www.asil.org/interest-groups-view.cfm?groupid=63C:%5CUsers%5Clouise%20lewis%5CDocuments%5CACLU>

Co-leader, Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development -- Access to 
Justice for Persons with Disabilities Community of Practice 
<http://www.globalforumljd.org>

International Human Rights Lawyer, Researcher and Consultant

+1.202.359.3045

Washington, DC, United States

Stephanieortoleva at gmail.com <mailto:Stephanieortoleva at gmail.com>and 
Womenenabled at gmail.com <mailto:Womenenabled at gmail.com>

*****************************************************************

Check out updates on my website at: www.WomenEnabled.org 
<http://www.womenenabled.org/>,follow me on Twitter at 
http://twitter.com/WomenEnabled, read my papers on the Social Science 
Research Network at http://ssrn.com/author=1875099  and connect with me 
on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/under Stephanie Ortoleva, for 
information on human rights, women's rights and the rights of  women 
with disabilities internationally.

****** Read just-released 228-page Report by Stephanie Ortoleva & Hope 
Lewis: "Forgotten Sisters - A Report on Violence against Women with 
Disabilities: & Overview of Its Nature, Scope, Causes & Consequences." 
Download the complete report & abstract on the Social Science Research 
Network website at: 
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2133332.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

Women Enabled, Inc.

www.WomenEnabled.org <http://www.womenenabled.org/>

WomenEnabled at gmail.com <mailto:WomenEnabled at gmail.com>

Advocating for the Rights of All Women!

September 1, 2012

Michelle Bachelet,

Under-Secretary-General of the UN

Executive Director, UN Women

	

Noeleen Heyzer,

Under-Secretary-General of the UN

Executive Secretary, Economic & Social

Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Babatunde Osotimehin

Under-Secretary-General of the UN

Executive director, UN Population Fund

	

Marjon V. Kamara

CSW Chair & Ambassador

Mission of the Republic of Liberia to the UN

Irina Velichko

CSW Vice-Chair & Second Secretary

Mission of the Republic of Belarus to the UN

	

Ana Marie Hernando

CSW Vice-Chair & Second Secretary

Mission of the Philippines to the UN

Carlos Enrique García González

CSW Vice-Chair & Deputy Representative

Mission of El Salvador to the UN

	

Filippo Cinti, CSW Vice Chair

First Secretary Mission of Italy to the UN

Nduku Kilonzo

Exec. Director, Liverpool VCT (Kenya)

	

Marai Larasi, Co-Chair

End Violence against Women (UK)

Margarita Quintanilla

Director, PATH/InterCambios

(Nicaragua)

	

Soon-Young Yoon,

Chair, NGO CSW/NY

Dear CSW Leadership & Partners,

We, the undersigned human rights, disability rights and women's rights 
organizations and individuals, write with respect to the importance of 
the inclusion of issues of concern to women and girls with disabilities 
in the agenda of the United Nations Commission on the Status of

Women (CSW), especially as it considers its priority thematic issue on 
the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women at 
its 57^th session in March 2013.)[1] <#_ftn1>

Despite the implications for more than 500 million women and girls with 
disabilities and their families, issues concerning women with 
disabilities receive only limited,   or even invisible, coverage in 
influential CSW Expert Group Meetings and prepatory papers.  There is 
also scant inclusion of issues concerning women with disabilities in 
side events at CSW sessions, other than those organized by women with 
disabilities themselves.  CSW can contribute to a more inclusive and 
effective   awareness of violence against all women by welcoming women 
with disabilities to these discussions

We draw your attention to the just released 228-page Report: Stephanie 
Ortoleva and Hope Lewis, Forgotten Sisters - A Report on Violence 
Against Women with Disabilities: An Overview of its Nature, Scope, 
Causes and Consequences (August 21, 2012). Northeastern University 
School of Law Research Paper No. 104-2012. Available at SSRN: 
http://ssrn.com/abstract=2133332.

This report, prepared by two international human rights lawyers and a 
team of law student research assistants, reviews available information 
on the scope, nature, causes and consequences of violence against women 
and girls with disabilities, drawing on research by academics, 
practitioners, women with disabilities, Disabled Peoples Organizations 
(DPOs), governments and international and regional organizations and 
discusses significant gaps in the research and makes recommendations for 
future action.  We urgently request that this valuable resource be 
included as part of the CSW57 preparatory papers to ensure that issues 
concerning violence against women and girls with disabilities are addressed.

The timing of the issuance of this Report is fortuitous as the 
Commission on the Status of Women prepares for its 57^th Session with 
the thematic issue of the prevention and elimination of violence against 
women.  As the CSW embarks on its Expert Group Meeting[2] <#_ftn2> and 
the development of the associated preparatory papers for CSW 57, it is 
urgent that women with disabilities have a significant role in these 
processes.   Determining viable policy on the prevention and elimination 
of violence against women requires the inclusion of all stakeholders, 
including women with disabilities who are experts on these issues.  
Drawing on the core principle of "Nothing About Us Without Us" which was 
an intrinsic element of the drafting of the United Nations Convention on 
the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD,) women with disabilities 
should be part of these CSW processes.[3] <#_ftn3>

_Situation of Women & Girls with Disabilities Globally:_  Given how 
greatly women and girls with disabilities are affected by the double 
discrimination and gender and disability stereotyping they face because 
of both gender and disability, they deserve to be heard.  There are 
approximately one billion persons with disabilities in the world, which 
constitutes 15 percent of the global population[4] <#_ftn4> The World 
Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank (WB) recent (9 June 2011) 
ground-breaking report entitled "World Report on Disability," notes a 
dramatic increase in estimates of the number of persons with 
disabilities worldwide.  There are significant differences in the 
prevalence of disability between men and women in both developing and 
more developed countries:  male disability prevalence rate is 12% and 
female disability prevalence rate is 19.2%.[5] <#_ftn5> [6] <#_ftn6>

_Violence and Women & Girls with Disabilities:_  The 2011 Report of the 
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women focused on 
the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that contribute to 
and exacerbate violence against women, noting that factors such as 
ability, age, access to resources, race/ethnicity, language, religion, 
sexual orientation and class can exacerbate the violence women with 
disabilities experience.  Violence against women and girls with 
disabilities is perpetrated and/or condoned by the State and private 
actors within public and private institutions and in the transnational 
sphere.  The forms of violence to which women with disabilities are 
subjected are varied; physical, psychological, sexual or financial 
violence, neglect, entrapment, degradation, and forced sterilization and 
psychiatric treatment.  Women with disabilities are twice or three times 
as likely to experience domestic and other forms of gender-based and 
sexual violence as non-disabled women, and are likely to experience 
abuse over a longer period and to suffer more severe injuries as a 
result of the violence.  Their abuser may also be their caregiver, 
someone that the individual is reliant on for personal care or mobility, 
frequently they do not report the violence, often lack access to legal 
protection, law enforcement officials are ill-equipped to address the 
violence and they are not privy to the same information available to 
non-disabled women.  Sexual and gender-based violence contributes to the 
incidence of disability among women and girls.

Some  other issues which exacerbate violence against women and girls 
with disabilities, include the following:  women with disabilities are 
the poorest among the poor because of discriminatory employment 
practices; they are denied educational opportunities because education 
was not provided for girls,or school facilities were not accessible to 
them and programs were not designed to meet their needs; they are unable 
to travel from place to place because of the dangers of violence, which 
cannot be mitigated because they cannot afford assistive devices like 
wheelchairs or access transportation systems; they are often the last in 
the family to receive food because they are viewed as useless,and 
because they may be too indigent to afford food; they are more likely 
than men with disabilities or women without disabilities to experience 
violence and other forms of discrimination,and are unaware of helpful 
services,or such services are not accessible to them; they are not able 
to receive health care services, including sexual and reproductive 
health care services, because these services are not in accessible 
locations (due tothe fact that the availability of these services are 
communicated in ways that are not accessible to them),and because health 
care providers cannot communicate with them or believe they are asexual; 
they are unable to access the justice system, especially for sexual 
violence cases, either because the police and judges cannot communicate 
with them or do not find their testimony credible, or because they have 
no information on how to access the system; and they are sometimes 
unwilling to return to their former home communities because of the fear 
of being ostracized based on their disability,or because the shelter in 
the refugee camp was slightly more accessible than their former home.  
Greater detail on these issues can be found in the Ortoleva and Lewis 
paper referenced above.

_Legal and Policy Basis for Inclusion:_  The recommendation for the 
inclusion of issues of concern to women and girls with disabilities in 
the work of the CSW is drawn from and is consistent with the 
gender-sensitive, disability-inclusive approaches outlined in the United 
Nations Charter,[7] <#_ftn7> and consistent with the provisions of the 
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), 
especially its Article 6 on Women with Disabilities,[8] <#_ftn8>  the 
_UN _Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination 
Against Women (CEDAW), especially its Article 14[9] <#_ftn9> and the UN 
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), as well as the[10] 
<#_ftn10> 1995 Beijing Declaration  and[11] <#_ftn11> and the 2000 
Special Session of the UN General Assembly, reviewing the progress of 
the outcomes of the Fourth World Conference on Women.[12] <#_ftn12>

The UN General Assembly has over the last few years issued a series of 
resolutions, especially Resolutions A/65/186 and A/64/131,[13] <#_ftn13> 
calling for the mainstreaming of persons with disabilities in 
development, and has specifically called upon Governments to promote 
gender equality and the empowerment of women with disabilities

Women and girls with disabilities look forward to participating in CSW 
57 and hope that the comments and resources we have shared will result 
in the greater inclusion of a substantive discussion of violence against 
women and girls with disabilities at the session as well as the greater 
participation of women and girls with disabilities.  Please contact Ms. 
Ortoleva at +1.202.359.3045 or WomenEnabled at gmail.com 
<mailto:WomenEnabled at gmail.com>.

Signed,


------------------------------------------------------------------------


------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] <#_ftnref1>UN Commission on the Status of Women, 57^th Session, 
Priority Theme - Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence 
against women and girls, 4 -- 14 March 2013, available at:
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/57sess.htm.

[2] <#_ftnref2>We note that the June 2012 Concept Note for the  
September17-20, 2012  Expert Group Meeting did not mention violence 
against women and girls with disabilities, see, Expert Group Meeting 
Concept Note, EGM/PP/INF.1 (June 2012), available at: 
http://www.unwomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Concept-Note-for-EGM-on-Prevention-of-Violence-Against-Women-and-Girls.pdf.

[3] <#_ftnref3> /See, e.g./, Convention on the Rights of Persons with 
Disabilities, G.A. Res. 61/106, U.N. Doc. A/RES/61/106 (Dec. 13, 2006), 
(Preamble (e), Art. 1, 3 (requiring the full integration of persons with 
disabilities in all segments of society so that they may fully 
participate and express themselves independently in social, legal, and 
political life, promoting, protecting and ensuring the full and equal 
enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons 
with disabilities, and promoting respect for their inherent dignity, and 
including those persons with disabilities who have long-term physical, 
mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with 
various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in 
society on an equal basis with others.) /available at/

http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/45f973632.html.

,

[4] <#_ftnref4>World Health Organization & World Bank, World Report on 
Disability, xi (2011), /available at 
/http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2011/9789240685215_eng.pdf.

[5] <#_ftnref5>/Id. /at 261.

[6] <#_ftnref6>World Bank, Women with Disability (2009)(last accessed 
Oct. 2009), http://go.worldbank.org/O14DRFLK90.

[7] <#_ftnref7>U.N. Charter (1945), /available at 
/http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/index.shtml.//

[8] <#_ftnref8>/See /Convention on the Rights of Persons with 
Disabilities, G.A. Res. 61/106, U.N. Doc. A/RES/61/106 (Dec. 13, 2006), 
(Article 6 on Women and several other articles of the CRPD focus on the 
rights of women and girls with disabilities) /available at/

http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/45f973632.html.

[9] <#_ftnref9>See, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of 
Discrimination Against Women, G.A. Res. 34/180, U.N. Doc. A/RES/34/180 
(Dec. 18, 1979)[hereinafter CEDAW], /available at 
/http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/text/econvention.htm.

[10] <#_ftnref10>Convention on the Rights of the Child, G.A. Res. 44/25, 
U.N. Doc. A/RES/44/25 (Nov. 20, 1989) [hereinafter CRC] (Article 23 of 
the CRC recognizes the special needs of disabled children.), /available 
at/ http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/pdf/crc.pdf.

[11] <#_ftnref11>Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, P.R.C., 
Sept. 4-15, 1995, /Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action/, ¶ 
232(p), /available at/ 
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/pdf/BDPfA%20E.pdf.

[12] <#_ftnref12>G.A. Res. S-23/3, ¶ 69(j), U.N. Doc. A/RES/S-23/3 (Nov. 
16, 2000). At ¶ 83(d).

[13] <#_ftnref13>Realizing the Millennium Development Goals for Persons 
with Disabilities Towards 2015 and Beyond, G.A. Res. 65/186, U.N. GAOR, 
65th Sess., 71st plen. mtg., U.N. Doc. A/RES/65/186 (Dec. 21, 2010), 
available at: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=36; 
Realizing the Millennium Development Goals for Persons with 
Disabilities, G.A. Res. 64/131, U.N. GAOR, 64th Sess., 65th plen. mtg., 
U.N. Doc. A/RES/64/131 (Dec. 18, 2009), available at: 
http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=36.

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