The women’s right movement and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) actors seems still viewing women with disabilities issues apart from the mainstream women movement in their agenda. And there is not much attention in representing women with disabilities when speaking about gender equality in women's human rights worldwide particularly about DRR; although the rights of women (with disabilities and non-disabled) is also ensure not only in one but two UN Convention, Convention on the Elimination of all forms on Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
The fact is that women with disabilities faces discrimination and stigma if not double fold because they are women and disabled. The stigma creates barriers socially therefore it is important to address this social construction to support women with disabilities. Ensuring that the women have confidence to be able to safely speak their mind is necessary to achieve a meaningful participation of women with disabilities in all aspect of DRR, pre, during, and post disaster. To be able to fully participate in DRR, women with disabilities should be equipped with knowledge, skill, accessibility and confidence on DRR.
Although surely, a deep systemic change cannot occurred just in overnight. Yet some evidences in the field demonstrate that women with disabilities are capable to meaningfully contribute to DRR. Equal access and opportunity for women with disabilities to involve in DRR should be encouraged by all DRR actors. In which Regional Asia-Pacific Conference on Gender and Disaster Risk Reduction in Ha Noi May 2016 tried to address the importance of acknowledging women with disabilities to participate in DRR. The conference outcome document, Ha Noi Recommendations includes reference on disability particulalry related to the establishment of composite mechanisms and build local and national capacities across sectors for collecting, analysing, managing, using, and sharing sex, age and disability disaggregated data (SADDD) and gender and diversity analysis to inform policies and programmes.
We need to be reminded that women with disabilities exist not only in vulnerability measurements of disaster but also in capacities. Including women with disabilities should not only decrease their vulnerability but also contribute to the increased capacities of the whole community at large.
Article provided by: Anggiasari Puji Aryati
Communication Coordinator DiDRRN