Participants at the 66 session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UN CSW 66) have called for improved resource and technical support to address the needs of persons with disabilities across the world.
The participants, who made the call at the UN CSW 66 stated that gender, disability and age are key drivers of inequity and discrimination, therefore, when they intersect, their negative impact is compounded.
Data from UNICEF revealed that 27 per cent of children and adolescents of aged between zero to 17, are likely to be out of upper-secondary school compared to their peers without disabilities.
The UN agency further revealed that 41 per cent of them were more likely to feel discriminated against and 51 per cent were more likely to feel unhappy.
The Executive Director of the Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) and Global Alliance for Women, Children and Adolescent Health, Ms Helga Fogstad said the call was necessary to address the plight of adolescent girls with disabilities.
Some of the delegates who spoke during the panel discussion called for greater focus on reducing the structural discrimination caused by gender, age and disability.
They said that women and girls with disabilities suffer up to three times greater risk of rape, and twice likely to be survivors of domestic violence.
The participants said that disable person’s are also likely to be survivors of other forms of gender-based violence over a longer period and more severe injuries than women without disabilities.
They noted that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include seven targets which explicitly referred to persons with disabilities.
The Senior Health Advisor, Policy Division of the United States Department for International Development, Dr Gillian Turner, said that people with disabilities have the same physical and mental health needs as the rest of the population.
Also, the Line Director, Clinical Contraceptive Services Delivery Programme Unit, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladesh, Dr Nurunnahar Begum , said that the Government of Bangladesh was working to ensure that Sexual and Reproductive Health services were for all.
Begum said that the guiding principle was ‘No one is left Behind’.