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08 Mar 2013

Brussels, 8 March 2013 /// The International Women’s Day 2013 finds Europe at a stage where significant efforts have been made in terms of gender equality and empowerment of women in society. However, discrimination against women still exists and Europe often fails to protect the rights of its female citizens. Women with disabilities, in particular, have to deal with a double challenge: the discrimination they often face for their gender, and the discrimination they face due to their disability. On today’s occasion, EDF calls the EU to take measures to promote gender equality and to empower the active participation of women with disabilities in society.

Promoting the equal rights of women and girls with disabilities is at the core of EDF’s work, in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). The 8th of March is a day to celebrate what women have achieved throughout the last years. However, it’s also a day to raise awareness about women with disabilities in the EU, whose rights are still threatened: women who are still succumbed to forced sterilisation, violence or institutionalisation, women who are deprived of their right to vote and of their right to be active citizens in society. Ensuring those women’s equal rights and putting an end to their discrimination is the challenge that the EU has to face and this has to happen today.

“2013 is the European Year of Citizens. Citizenship involves playing an active role in political decision-making and being able to vote and stand in elections, but also taking an active part in the life of the community, and in shaping its presence and future. However, women and girls with disabilities – more than half of all people with disabilities in Europe and 16% of the total population of women in Europe – still face widespread and multiple discrimination and they are being denied their rights and fundamental freedoms. Today we are calling on the EU and its leaders to mainstream gender and disability ensuring that women and girls with disabilities can enjoy equal rights with the others and full access in all aspects of society, stressed EDF Executive Member, Ana Peláez.


Remember EDF’s resolution on violence against older women with disabilities here

Find EDF’s 2nd Manifesto on the Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities in the EU here

Find European Women Lobby observatory on violence against women here


Lila Sylviti | EDF Communications officer |


The European Disability Forum is the European umbrella organisation representing the interests of 80 million persons with disabilities in Europe. The mission of EDF is to ensure persons with disabilities full access fundamental and human rights through their active involvement in policy development and implementation in Europe. EDF is a member of the International Disability Alliance (IDA) and it is currently chairing its governing body.




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