RESOURCES

130701 Issues paper srr women and girls with disabilities


Issues Paper: The Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities

Sexual and reproductive rights are fundamental human rights. They embrace human rights that are already recognised in international, regional and national legal frameworks, standards and agreements. However, women and girls with disabilities throughout the world have failed to be afforded, or benefit from, these provisions in international, regional and national legal frameworks, standards and agreements. Instead, systemic prejudice and discrimination against them continues to result in multiple and extreme violations of their sexual and reproductive rights. They also experience systemic exclusion from sexual and reproductive health care services. These practices and violations are framed within traditional social attitudes and entrenched disability-based and gender-based stereotypes that continue to characterise disability as a personal tragedy, a burden and/or a matter for medical management and rehabilitation.

This Briefing Paper examines the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls with disabilities in the context of the future development agenda Beyond 2014 and Post 2015. It deliberately focuses on women and girls with disabilities in recognition that they are generally more likely to experience infringements of their sexual and reproductive rights given the physiology of human reproduction and the gendered social, legal and economic context in which sexuality, fertility, pregnancy and parenthood occur.4 This Paper examines some of the key sexual and reproductive rights violations experienced by women and girls with disabilities around the world.

It poses some key priority considerations for ensuring the future development agenda Beyond 2014 and Post 2015 is inclusive of, and responsive to, women and girls with disabilities all over world. Importantly, as opposed to ‘needs’, this paper speaks to the sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls with disabilities – rights that for far too long have been violated, denied, ignored and trivialised by those in positions to make a difference.