The Commission communication represents a fundamental policy instrument for people with disabilities. The EESC welcomes the European Disability Strategy, as an active policy instrument to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The EESC believes that the UN Convention sets a clear framework that allows people with disabilities to contribute to the realisation of their potential, and calls for the EU to take the next and equally important steps of ratifying the Optional Protocol and of ensuring that existing and future secondary legislation respect the Convention.
In each of the 27 EU countries, there are laws or organisational arrangements which exclude some voters with disabilities from participating in EP elections. If the best practices from across all countries were implemented, an ideal system would emerge in which every EU citizen with disabilities not only would have the full possibility to vote but also would be able to choose for themselves the most convenient way in which to vote.
Women with disabilities constitute 16% of the total population of women in Europe, which means in the EU there are approximately 40 million women and girls with disabilities.
Women with disabilities face intersectional discrimination in all areas of life, including, socio-economic disadvantages, social isolation, violence against women, forced sterilisation and abortion, lack of access to community services, low-quality housing, institutionalisation, inadequate health care and denial of the opportunity to contribute and engage actively in society.