EMERGENCY RESOLUTION TO BPW NZ CONFERENCE 2 APRIL 2011 – CEDAW
“That BPW NZ urge the New Zealand Government to request, under Article 26 of CEDAW, that afurther Article be included to address the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women andgirls with disabilities.”
- The Platform for Action (1995) and the Beijing Declaration by participating Governments (and NZ Government was one) include 27 paragraphs with reference to women and girls with disabilities, yet the “women’s own treaty” CEDAW does not specifically include one reference – it is only taken as a given, that disabled women and girls are included in “marginalised” groups.
- While BPW NZ has a proud record of working towards the elimination of discrimination of all forms against women, we do not have specific policy relating to the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and girls with disabilities.
- The policy is required to provide a mandate for lobbying by our representatives.
Reason for Emergency
NGO’s in New Zealand, under the leadership of NCW NZ, are producing an Alternate Report to the NZGovernment’s 6th Report to the UN Committee on its implementation of CEDAW. Consultation has been undertaken with NGO’s, community groups and individuals on three modules with a 4thModule almost ready for consultation.
There is opportunity to comment on discrimination against women and girls with disabilities, and other issuesaffecting their quality of life, within all modules, depending on the Articles being addressed.
Both the Government Report and the Alternate Report must be completed this year and presented to the UNCommittee before the next BPW NZ Conference in 2012.
In the words of the International Network of Women With Disabilities, “it is with deep concern that theInternational Network of Women With Disabilities (INWWD) urges that the UN system, Governments and theCSW to address the rights and needs of women and girls with disabilities in their programmes and reporting.
The INWWD is comprised of about 200 women from international, regional, national or local organisations,groups or networks of women with disabilities, as well as individual women with disabilities and allies.
Networks in New Zealand supporting a move to include an Article in CEDAW, that addresses the elimination of discrimination against women and children with disabilities, include Auckland Disability Law, CCS Disability Action, Disabled Women’s Forum and the Human Rights Commission.
The full report of INWWD on Beijing + 15,(INWWD report to CSW 54th session in 2010) includes damning evidence that even though in 1995, there were Standard Rules on Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, (but which did not address women and girls in particular), very few States have reflected on people with disabilities at all, and as far as INWWD knows, none had reflected on women and girls at all.
CEDAW has been ratified by most party States since 1979, (186 by May 2009) and even though this is our own treaty, women and girls with disabilities (332,600 women in NZ alone) are still ignored and discrimination against them continues. The UNCRPD will address some of this discrimination and the First NZ Government Report on implementing it, goes some way in reporting, through Articles 6 and 23, progress that is being made. However, discrimination against women and girls would be addressed more particularly and gains made more progressively in claiming their human rights, if an Article on “Women and Girls with Disabilities” is included in CEDAW.
BPW NZ has a proud record of working towards the elimination of discrimination of all forms against women. We lobbied strongly in New Zealand and internationally through a resolution to BPW NZ Congress (Venice 1996) for the drafting, signing and ratification of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW, and we were successful.
We have contributed to Government Reports and Alternative NGO Reports to the UN CEDAW Reporting Committee. We have worked consistently and collaboratively with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Human Rights Commission, National Council of Women NZ and its member groups and individuals, and other organisations, to promote equal rights for women. Let us join with the international Network of Women With Disabilities, their members in New Zealand and the Human Rights Commission of New Zealand, to gain those
same equal human rights for women and girls with disabilities, not only through UNCRPD but through our own treaty CEDAW.
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