EESC Opinion on Women and Girls with a Disability

At its 536th plenary session, held on the 11th and 12th of July 2018, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) discussed the fight against discrimination and violence against women with disabilities. They comprise 16% of the female population in Europe, which amounts to over 40 million women and girls.
The discussions covered from the everyday issues women with disabilities face to the solutions and recommendations that can help to improve them. Those recommendations can be summarised around three main priority action areas: legal coverage, political representation and participation and knowledge and awareness-raising.
  • Legal coverage: As the EU currently does not address disability and gender issues together, the European Union should mainstream a disability perspective in all its gender policies, programmes and strategies, along with a gender perspective in its disability strategies. Next to this, the EU must adopt strong and broad EU legislation that protects women with disabilities from intersectional discrimination in all areas of life.
  • Political representation and participation: The efforts of the EU towards consulting and funding representative organisations of women and girls with disabilities is insufficient and positive actions should be taken to ensure that women with disabilities can participate on an equal basis with others in the work and functioning of the EU institutions.
  • Knowledge and awareness-raising: Firstly, there is an overall lack of data and indicators on women with disabilities for what it is needed that all reports produced automatically include related information. Secondly, considering the lack of public and media attention towards them,  efforts should be gathered to develop a comprehensive campaign to raise awareness about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of violence against Women (CEDAW) to raise visibility regarding the situation of women and girls with disabilities and combat prejudice against them.

>>> Read the full report here.
>>> The rapporteur of the plenary session was Gunta Anča who will be joining us as a panelist at the upcoming EPR Annual Conference on September 20th in Utrecht, The Netherlands.