People's Stories Equality


More than 1 billion people in the world live with some form of disability
by OHCHR, UN News, agencies
 
Dec. 2018
 
The United Nations has launched its first-ever flagship report on disability and development; published by, for, and with, persons with disabilities, in the hopes of fostering more accessible, and disability-inclusive societies.
 
The UN Flagship Report on Disability and Development 2018, coincides with the annual International Day, marked on 3 December, which the UN chief described as important for “the social, economic and political inclusion of all, including people with disabilities,” as promoted in the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.
 
Secretary-General António Guterres said the report “shows that people with disabilities are at a disadvantage” regarding most SDGs, “but also highlights the growing number of good practices that can create a more inclusive society in which they can live independently.”
 
“In many societies, persons with disabilities often end up disconnected, living in isolation and facing discrimination,” he said, highlighting that more than one billion people in the world live with some form of disability.
 
The report demonstrates how disability-based discrimination has severe effects on transport, cultural life, and access to public places and services, and thus, the report leads with a push to change urban environments to make them more accessible.
 
The above challenges often go unseen as a result of insufficient questions relevant to disability, and consequently, an underestimation of the number of persons living with disabilities and affected by discrimination, and other barriers.
 
In 2006, the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol, geared toward protection of the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities, which requires associated parties to promote and protect their human rights.
 
Javier Vasquez, who helps head up the health division at Special Olympics International in his role as Vice President, stressed the connection between human rights and health when it comes to people living with disabilities.
 
“When people with intellectual disabilities can enjoy full access to human rights, this reflects in the form of genuine mental and physical health,” he said in an interview with UN News.
 
Further, he echoed the issue of gaps in inclusion and representation, and how this impacts our understanding of disabilities and these persons’ livelihoods.
 
On average, persons with disabilities die 16 years sooner than those living without disabilities, however: “A lot of people think people with intellectual disabilities die earlier because of their disabilities, and this is not true,” Mr. Vasquez verified.
 
“The problem is that these illnesses, in the context of people with disabilities, are undiagnosed or undetected, and they go through life without treatment. They are excluded many times because of stigma and discrimination.”
 
Mr. Vasquez called for more extensive and comprehensive research on the challenges and achievements of persons with disabilities, in support of a wider movement for equal access to rights in politics, education, and health.
 
“You don''t find data in the national health information systems...so we are sharing our data to make these people visible.”
 
Commemorating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Mr. Guterres asserted the United Nations’ pledge to fulfill the human rights of all persons.
 
“Let us reaffirm our commitment to work together for a better world that is inclusive, equitable and sustainable for everyone, where the rights of people with disabilities are fully realized.”
 
* Access the UN Report on Disability and Development 2018 executive summary (22pp): http://bit.ly/2Ecokeu Complete report: (390pp): http://bit.ly/2SvvNbX
 
http://www.un.org/en/events/disabilitiesday/ http://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/ http://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/summit http://www.iddcconsortium.net/ http://www.hrw.org/topic/disability-rights http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/CRPDIndex.aspx http://www.embracingdiversity.net/ http://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/disability/srdisabilities/pages/srdisabilitiesindex.aspx http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/disability-and-work/lang--en/index.htm http://www.who.int/disabilities/en/ http://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2018/independent-living-reality
 
* Unicef: Children with Disabilities in Situations of Armed Conflict (24pp): http://uni.cf/2St1TVM http://uni.cf/2QagNTP
 
* Handicap International: Humanity & Inclusion: http://hi.org/ http://hi.org/en/international-advocacy-publications
 
* Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: http://bit.ly/1PxgebQ


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One in three women experience violence in their lifetime
by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
Executive Director of UN Women
 
Nov. 2018
 
The theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (25 November – 10 December) is Orange the World: #HearMeToo.
 
#HearMeToo brings to the forefront the voices of women and girls who have survived violence, who are defending women’s rights every day, who are taking action—many of them very far away from the limelight or media headlines. These are the faces we may not have seen on newspapers and stories we may not have heard on social media. Their voices and stories must be heard.
 
One in three women experience violence in their lifetime, across all social status, class, race, country or age group. That’s one too many. For many of them, the #MeToo moment hasn’t come yet, because speaking out can have fatal consequences, and survival is a long and complicated journey.
 
Today we stand at a tipping point. These global social media conversations and survivor- activists’ movements have shown us that when our voices come together, it is possible to challenge the historical power imbalances and affect lasting change.
 
Fighting discrimination and violence against women and girls is at the core of UN Women’s mandate. And, we know that there are solutions that can unlock the transformational change we want to see, such as: a comprehensive approach that includes laws along with decisive implementation to protect women and girls from violence; prevention that starts at an early age and the provision of services accessible to all survivors.
 
For the 16 Days of Activism, this compilation features the stories of some of the brave women and men who are paving the way for a safer, more equal and better world for all.
 
#HearMeToo, by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women
 
We still do not know the true extent of violence against women, as the fear of reprisals, impact of not being believed, and the stigma borne by the survivor—not the perpetrator—have silenced the voices of millions of survivors of violence and masked the true extent of women’s continued horrific experiences.
 
In the recent past, grassroots activists and survivors, as well as global movements such as “#MeToo”, “#TimesUp”, “#BalanceTonPorc”, “#NiUnaMenos”, “HollaBack!” and “#TotalShutdown” have converted isolation into global sisterhood.
 
They are making offenders accountable, exposing the prevalence of violence from high office to factory floor. Today’s global movements are setting collective demands for accountability and action and calling for the end of impunity, to ensure the human rights of all women and girls.
 
This year’s theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is “Orange the World: #HearMeToo”. It aims to honour and further amplify voices, whether a housewife at home, a schoolgirl abused by her teacher, an office secretary, a sportswoman, or a boy who is an intern in a business, bringing them together across locations and sectors in a global movement of solidarity.
 
It is a call to listen to and believe survivors, to end the culture of silencing and to put the survivors at the centre of the response. The focus must change from questioning the credibility of the victim, to pursuing the accountability of the perpetrator.
 
Those who have spoken out have helped us understand better just how much sexual harassment has been normalized and even justified as an inevitable part of a woman’s life. Its ubiquity has helped it seem a minor, everyday inconvenience that can be ignored or tolerated, with only the really horrific events being worthy of the difficulty of reporting. This is a vicious cycle that has to stop.
 
#HearMeToo is therefore also a strong call to law enforcement. It is deeply wrong that the vast majority of perpetrators of violence against women and girls face no consequences. Only a minority of cases are ever reported to the police; an even smaller percentage result in charges, and in only a fraction of those cases is there a conviction.
 
Police and judicial institutions must take reports seriously, and prioritize the safety and wellbeing of survivors, for example by making more female officers available for women reporting violence.
 
Laws must recognize that sexual harassment is a form of discrimination against women and a human rights violation, both expressing and re-generating inequality, that occurs in many arenas of life, from schools to workplaces, in public spaces and online. If laws protect both formal and informal workplaces, the most vulnerable workers, like those dependent on tips from customers for their income, will have a better chance to speak out against abuse, and be heard.
 
Employers themselves in every country can make vital impacts by independently enforcing standards of behaviour that reinforce gender equality and zero tolerance for any form of abuse.
 
UN Women is at the forefront of efforts to end all forms of violence against women and girls through the work we do, from our UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women that benefited over 6 million individuals last year, to the Spotlight initiative, which is the largest ever single investment in the elimination of violence against women and girls worldwide, to our work on safe cities and safe public spaces.
 
This year, together with you, we aim to support all those whose voices are still not yet being heard.
 
http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/end-violence-against-women http://www.endvawnow.org/en/ http://16dayscampaign.org/resource/2018-16-days-toolkit-iloendgbv/


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