Source: The Guardian (

A year after “A Day Without a Woman,” which saw women across the United States boycotting paid and unpaid labor to highlight the impact of women on society, people around the world responded to the call for a global women’s strike on International Women’s Day (IWD). The IWD organizers cite the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report findings that gender parity is over 200 years away and inspires this year’s theme #PressforProgress. Building off of global activism fueled by movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, people around the world are mobilizing on IWD and showing that there is a strong global momentum striving for gender parity.


The major pillars of #PressforProgress center around addressing the global gender wage gap, violence against women, and aim to bring marginalized intersections of gender to the front of exposing the pervasiveness of gender-discrimination. Yet, in the midst of talking about inclusion and diversity, disability is usually left out. The women’s movement should be the place to change that. According to UN, 650 million people (approximately 10 percent of the world’s population) live with disabilities, and frequently encounter a myriad of physical social obstacles. Women and girls with disabilities, in particular, remain at the margins of decision-making and work on gender equality, globally. The specific needs of females with disabilities have been invisible, both to the advocates of women’s rights and those with disability rights.


According to UN Women, an estimated one in five women live with disabilities. The importance of using intentional language can change the perception and attitude toward the idea that individuals “have” versus “live with” a disability, meaning that a disability is not the same as lacking ability. By living with a disability, UN Women cite data that women and girls encounter higher rates of gender-based violence, harmful gender-discriminatory practices, and lower economic and social status compared to their male counterparts who also live with a disability.


They often lack the opportunities of the mainstream population and are usually among the most marginalized in society. Women face barriers to full equality and advancement because of such factors as race, age, language, ethnicity, culture, religion or disability. Persistence of certain cultural, legal and institutional barriers makes women and girls with disabilities the victims of two-fold discrimination: as women and as persons with disabilities. People with physical and intellectual disabilities can be judged by their appearance alone. CNN’s 2017 Hero of the Year, Amy Wright and her husband, who have two adult children with Down Syndrome, learned that 70 percent of the disabled are unemployed in the U.S. alone. They decided to become a part of the solution by opening a coffee shop and hiring employees with special needs.


In alignment with IWD #PressforProgress theme, there are a few policy changes that can be implemented, change the broken lens through which we view people with special needs;



Creating policy “nudges” is a non-forced compliance to influence the motives, incentives and decision-making groups of individuals. Countries like Singapore, the United Kingdom, and Australia use behavioral insights to remove bias in hiring practices. When addressing the pay gap, most reforms and activists are still predominately talking about able-bodied women. Paired with incentivizing corporations and small-business owners to hire persons with disabilities, nudges can provide potential economic empowerment for women living with disabilities.


Strengthen political participation and leadership of women with disabilities

Representation in government decisions matters. Tanzania is an exemplary country where UN Women has worked with gender advocates to support the participation of women, youth and persons with disabilities in the electoral process, contributing to the inclusion of women with disabilities in the list of candidates.


Mobilizing global change for women needs to assure that the future is accessible for all females. Today’s International Women’s Day and #PressforProgress theme can be representative by continuing to bring women and girls living with disabilities into the fold.


For More Information




Thanks for sharing !

Comments are disabled.