Women with disabilities speak up for equality at Brazil forum

Posted on: Friday, 9th September, 2016
Jemimah, 37, a disability activist who attended CBM training (Kenya)

As the world’s eyes focus on the achievements of Paralympic athletes in Rio, CBM is taking part in another event in Brazil to challenge stigma and discrimination around disability.

We’re supporting a delegation of women with disabilities from Madagascar, Nepal, Peru, Lebanon, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Nigeria to attend the 13th international forum of The Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) this week. CBM will be highlighting how important gender equality is for women with disabilities and discussing the barriers and opportunities for women with disabilities to be active participants in development. The delegation will be led by CBM’s Senior Advisor on Disability and Gender Equality, Mary Keogh.

Girls and women with disabilities are often amongst the poorest and most marginalised in any society. They are the least likely to get an education, be employed or influence the decisions that affect their lives. If they work, they are more likely to work informally in low-paid  jobs with poor conditions. 

Many barriers that women with disabilities face are the same as those that affect their non-disabled peers.But having a disability means means these challenges are amplified. Disabled women often have to fight against discrimination on the basis of both gender and disability. Research by CBM in Cambodia found that women with disabilities are over 4-times more likely to have their activities restricted by their partners than other women.

The AWID Forum is taking part in Brazil from 8-11 September 2016, attended by over 2,000 participants. AWID is a global, feminist membership organisation that has been part of women’s rights movements working to achieve gender equality, sustainable development and women's human rights worldwide. CBM is co-hosting a panel called “Building the collective power of women with disabilities – shared experiences from Nepal, Peru, Lebanon and East Africa” at the Forum, while Maegan Shanks, CBM’s Disability Inclusive Development Learning Coordinator, will represent CBM on the Young Feminist Hub.

Find out more

Image: 37 year old Jemimah took part in a training workshop sponsored by CBM and now works for APDK, a disabled people's organisation and partner of CBM in Mombasa Kenya.


Keep up to date! Enter your email to receive up-to-date CBM news and how you can make a difference.

Please complete the fields below: