Eliminate Gender-Based Violence Against Girls and Women with Disabilities
Factors such as cultural, economic, legal, and political affects a person with a disability, especially a young woman or girl with a disability. Violence against women and girls with disabilities have been an area of concern for a long time. The need of the hour is to raise more awareness and enhance our efforts to create long-lasting change for those women and girls that have been left behind.
It is time that we focus on eliminating gender stereotypes, prejudice and social stigma from and within our communities to end violence against women and girls with disabilities. A study conducted by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) — Young Persons with Disabilities: Global Study on Ending Gender-Based Violence, and Realising Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights — confirms that girls and young women with disabilities may face up to 10 times more violence than women and girls without disabilities.
In light of the very vibrant worldwide engagement on women in general and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) that started on November 25, 2022, the African Disability Forum (ADF) is working to advocate for the rights of African women and girls with disabilities to be protected from GBV through using its website and social media. ADF requested a few women leaders from its Executive Council and from its Young African Women with Disabilities Leadership Program to participate in the campaign — Eliminate Gender-Based Violence Against Girls and Women with Disabilities — and record a 45-second video in English/Sign Language (with English Subtitles/Voice Over) or in French to send a heart-mind-hand message to the world on Disability and GBV.
The videos highlight what action the ADF women with leadership want to see in combating GBV amongst girls and women with disabilities.
We would want government entities, civil society, development partners, donors, stakeholders, organisations of persons with disabilities, persons with disabilities and their family members to join hands together to leave no women and girls with disabilities behind in our work to end gender-based violence. Let’s prevent and respond to violence in an inclusive manner, design accessible programs and invest in empowering women and girls with disabilities to protect themselves from violence in all spheres including health services, shelters, police stations, and other legal and civil structures.
Adelaïde Nyigina, Member of ADF Executive Council, Representative of Women
“Video Message (in English): My name is Adelaïde Nyigina, I am Burundian, member of the Executive Council of the African Disability Forum, representative of women. In these 16 days of activism against violence against women, I would like to challenge the international community, our African leaders and the entire community to respect the rights of women and girls with disabilities. Particular attention must be paid to them in order to protect them from all forms of violence and consequently promote their inclusion in development policies and programmes. We say NO to all economic, social, physical, psychological and domestic violence against girls and women with disabilities. We want a just, fair and violence-free world.”