MEPs urged the Commission and member states to take measures to strengthen the rights of women with disabilities, in a resolution adopted on Thursday.

Ahead of the International day of persons with disabilities on 3 December, MEPs call on member states to fulfill their commitments regarding the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD) and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the rights and freedoms, as well as responsibilities enshrined in it, in a resolution adopted in plenary by show of hands on Thursday.


MEPs reiterate their call on the Commission and member states to mainstream women and girls with a disability perspective into their gender equality strategies, policies and programmes, and urge them to improve the situation of women with disabilities in several areas, including:


  • External policies: women with disabilities often face bigger challenges and dangers in countries involved in conflict. MEPs thus highlight the need to protect women with disabilities in the EU’s external policies;

  • Accessibility to health: women and girls with disabilities are often denied access to sexual and reproductive health facilities. Member states should implement legislative measures that safeguard physical integrity, freedom of choice and self-determination with regard to the sexual and reproductive rights of these women;

  • Education: MEPs call on member states to improve public investment in early childhood education and care for children with disabilities, and stress the importance of integrating women with disabilities into mainstream educational and professional systems;

  • Gender-based violence: concerned that women with disabilities are more likely to become victims of gender-based violence, MEPs urge member states to provide high-quality, accessible and tailor-made services in order to end violence against women and to support victims;

  • Digital and media inclusion: MEPs want women with disabilities to be more visible in the media in order to change current exclusionary social norms, and urge member states to focus on their digital inclusion, emphasising the huge potential of digitalisation for women with a disability.

In this text drafted by Rosa Estaràs Ferragut (EPP, ES), MEPs also call for the barriers which are obstructing people with disabilities from their right to vote to be removed in the run-up to the European elections, in six months.


Background


There are around 46 million women and girls with disabilities in the EU, representing about 16% of its total female population. Women with disabilities are two to five times more likely to be victims of violence than other women, and 34% of women with a health problem or a disability have experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner in their lifetime.