Gender and Disability

As a steering group member and researcher for the Disabled women’s collective ‘Sisters of Frida,’ I  have worked closely with Disabled women from all walks of life, sharing experiences, providing mutual support and forming relationships with various external networks. I also contributed substantially, on behalf of the Sisters, to the ‘Disability’ section of the UK Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Shadow Report – ‘Women’s Equality in the UK: A Health Check.’ The report was produced by the CEDAW Working Group, made up of a coalition of 42 women’s and human rights organisations across the UK, brought together by the UN CEDAW Committee in July 2013 to examine the UK Government’s response to discrimination.

In 2016, I was also involved in the preparation of a submission by Sisters of Frida to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, highlighting a number of developments that have impacted negatively on Disabled people and feeding into the Committee’s ongoing review of the UK Government. The submission identified a number of restrictions that Disabled people face with respect to their economic and social rights, as set out in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, particularly the impact of austerity measures on rights to enjoyment and exercise. Sisters of Frida expressed concerns in the submission about increasing institutionalisation of Disabled people, as a result of the lack of adequate housing strategies. They also warned that the cuts to Access to Work funding and Employment Support Allowance have led to further marginalisation of Disabled people. Finally, the submission focused on Article 10 of the ICESCR – the protection of family, mothers and children. It set out barriers faced by Disabled women and Disabled women from Black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds, calling for an amendment to the Serious Crime Act 2015.

Published work: CEDAW Shadow Report

Submission on the rights of persons with disabilities for the CESCR Committee’s review of the United Kingdom


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