Gender equality

Lack of gender equality increases exclusion

Women with disabilities are at risk of being discriminated against both because of their gender and their disability. All MyRight projects and programs have a comprehensive gender equality perspective.

In most societies, persons with disabilities, regardless of gender, are among the most marginalized, and in poor environments this can have devastating consequences. At the same time, the lack of gender equality is a major problem worldwide. The systematic gender discrimination that prevails in many of the world's countries therefore hits women with disabilities particularly hard.

The double discrimination can both lead to and consolidate poverty. The discrimination entails an exclusion and a vulnerability that can affect both themselves and their children and relatives very negatively.

1 in 5 women live with at least one disability

There are significantly more women than men living with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries. According to the WHO, at least 1 in 5 women in the world live with one or more disabilities (the same figure for men is 1 in 8).

One explanation is the lower social and economic status of girls and women compared to boys and men in many countries. Among other things, this can lead to them receiving a smaller share of the household's resources.

Women are also at greater risk of disability due to gender-based inequalities in access to various forms of care and services. Girls and women who become ill receive care to a lesser extent compared to boys and men, especially in poor countries where it can be a long way to the nearest care facility.

Women with disabilities have to deal with, among other things:

  • A school that specifically excludes girls with disabilities
  • Increased risks of violence and abuse
  • Reduced access to health care and sexual and reproductive health
  • Less political participation - at all levels

MyRight makes women visible

In the partnership projects that we and our member organizations run, opportunities are given for the exchange of experience and awareness is created about what it is like to live with a disability as a woman.

By making women with disabilities visible, and women as relatives of a person with a disability, the projects contribute to a positive societal development and at the same time constitute an opportunity for individuals to gain autonomy.

In development cooperation, it is important to analyze how the current situation affects men and women differently, how it is experienced by men and women and what measures are required to meet both men's and women's needs. When women's perspectives are made visible, it often leads to women becoming more active in, for example, local organisations. This in turn can contribute to knowledge and experiences that make women dare to participate and become more involved in other parts of society as well.

Working in a way that promotes gender equality can mean promoting women's participation and strengthening the position of women in the organization, but it can also mean the opposite. In some organizations, for example, it may be about having targeted activities to engage more fathers and get them to accept and care for their children with disabilities.

MyRight wants:

  • that Sweden should include a disability perspective in its pronounced feminist foreign policy.
  • More states are needed to push forward issues related to the particularly vulnerable situation of girls and women with disabilities.
  • When development strategies are developed, women with disabilities with knowledge in the field must be represented.
  • Swedish development funding should also be used to build and develop national statistical authorities with the aim of improving statistics on persons with disabilities, and in particular women with disabilities.
  • MyRight also wants to see a higher representation of women with disabilities in the international committee that monitors the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, CRPD.