Women worldwide are working to end political exclusion. More must be done to ensure that ALL women participate in building the rule of law, strengthening democracy and have a voice in decision making processes. Sustainable peace requires inclusion of all groups affected by conflict at all stages in the peace-building process. Some progress has been made through a series of United Nations Security Council Resolutions, beginning with Resolution 1325 in 2000, to give women a place at the table in post-conflict peace building and reconciliation; however women with disabilities have not had a role in these processes, neither in practice nor formally through the various United Nations resolutions. Women with disabilities face unique challenges – and offer unique perspectives and have the capacity to make important contributions. An emancipatory gender politics means considering disability, along with other identities. Groups who have traditionally been excluded, such as women with disabilities, deserve special attention, bringing varied backgrounds, perspectives, and skills, to the negotiating table and play an important role in formulating and implementing policies that will affect the society as a whole moving forward after conflict. This approach also strengthens democracy and fosters inclusive political participation. Therefore, existing programs, institutions and mechanisms should strive to ensure that the voices of women with disabilities are included as resolutions, recommendations and guidelines are drafted, as programs are designed and implemented on the ground and as peace processes proceed.
Numerous issues affect women with disabilities disproportionately when compared to men with disabilities and women without disabilities, including health, education, employment, violence, family rights, marriage, housing, and participation in public life, all of which are exacerbated by war and are seen globally. Gender stereotyping and the double discrimination women with disabilities face because of both their gender and their disability impact their lives. War and conflict increase the incidence of disability for women in general and also women with disabilities often develop additional or more severe disabilities as a result of war and conflict. Women with disabilities experience greater violence than others and also experience higher rates of gender-based violence during the conflict, all of which may result in increased HIV infection and psychological trauma. The refugee camps that arise during conflict place additional burdens on women with disabilities, because of the violence they face in such situations, because they may have to flee their homes, leaving support systems behind, because facilities are rarely accessible and because programs are not designed to meet their specific needs. Justice and post-conflict reconciliation activities generally do not include them nor are such programs designed to include their concerns and made accessible to them. Although limited data on the situation of women with disabilities exists, there is a clear need for more detailed, standardized and global data on these issues, to more effectively address them.
The provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Disabilities Treaty) and the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Women’s Treaty), along with various United Nations Security Council Resolutions and other reports provide insight into this intersection and guidance on necessary policy changes to ensure the inclusion of women with disabilities in post-conflict peace building and reconciliation processes.
Ensures the participation of women in peace processes and calls for improved protection of women in conflict zones.
Reaffirms commitment to1325 and links the prevention of sexual violence with the maintenance of peace and security.
Mandates peacekeeping missions to protect women, girls from sexual violence in armed conflict.
Strengthens the participation of women at all stages of peace processes, focusing on the period after peace agreements have been reached.§ UNSCR 1960 (2010)
Ensuring the protection of women from systematic and widespread sexual violence in armed conflict.
Referencing women with disabilities:
Reaffirming the importance for States, with the support of the international
United Nations Security Council has expressed its continuing deep
concern about the persistent obstacles to women’s full involvement in
the prevention and resolution of conflicts and their participation in
post-conflict public life. It acknowledged that the marginalization of
women can delay or undermine the achievement of sustainable peace,
security and reconciliation.
The UN Secretary-General has submitted to the Security Council, for consideration, a set of indicators for use at the global level to track implementation of its resolution 1325 (2000), which could serve as a common basis for reporting by relevant United Nations entities, other international and regional organizations, and Member States, on the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000) in 2010 and beyond. Unfortunately, these indicators fail to consider the needs and concerns of women with disabilities.
The Secretary-General, Report of the Secretary-General on Women and Peace and Security, ¶ 20, delivered to the Security Council and the General Assembly, U.N. Doc. S/2010/173 ( Apr. 6, 2010)[Women and Peace and Security].
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