UN Women Executive Director for International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has called on the international community
to be "part of creating solutions” to the pandemic of violence against women and girls
. White Ribbon is a global, male-led movement to stop violence against women, understanding that men are an essential part of the solution to this problem. Men can swear the White Ribbon Oath and find other techniques to contribute to the solution here
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) is committed to stopping violence against women and girls with disability. We believe this is essential to developing a truly inclusive and just community. We encourage you to think about how you, too, can be part of the solution.
People with disability are part of the solution
PWDA is working hard to be part of the creation of solutions to the extreme levels of violence experienced by women and girls with disability. Internationally, we were part of the Civil Society Delegation
to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which highlighted the situation of women and girls with disability in Australia. The Committee has handed down its Concluding Observations
, and a number of them address the human rights violations experienced by women and girls with disability in Australia.
At a systemic level, our partnership with Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) and the University of NSW (UNSW) in the Stop the Violence Project
has ensured that the voices of women with disability are included as the project develops an evidence base to support future reform of the service system to better respond to the needs of women and their children. Funded by the Department of Social Services, the project takes a multi-layered approach to assisting women with disability under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children. Graeme Innes, the Disability Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, reported on the STVP National Symposium in ABC Ramp Up
earlier this month.
In 2010, PWDA conducted research into violence abuse and exploitation experienced by people with disability particularly women with disability - Accommodating Human Rights - A Human Rights Perspective on Housing and Support for persons with disability
and Rights Denied - Towards a national policy agenda about abuse, neglect & exploitation of persons with cognitive impairment
. PWDA has also been part of long-term advocacy around the forced sterilisation of women and girls with disability, which significantly breaches their human rights. While the Senate Inquiry report handed down on 17 July
this year improves on the existing protective framework, it still allows for forced sterilisation to occur. We also work towards the closure of institutions, which research demonstrates have frighteningly high levels of criminal assault, including sexual assault, and neglect, associated with them.
In addition to our individual advocacy work which frequently supports women experiencing violence, PWDA also provides educational programs. These are designed to prevent personal, intimate partner, domestic and sexual violence before it happens, and to help people develop positive relationships.
Today People with Disability Australia are training 21 professionals
from the Sutherland area to support women with intellectual disability develop their relationship skills, which will enable them to negotiate their personal lives happily and safely, and enhance their capacity to recognise and deal with relationships that are disrespectful, abusive or violent. This training will be repeated soon in the Southern Highlands (11-13 December). More information here
Links and Resources