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The situation of women with disabilities (exploratory opinion requested by the European Parliament)

EESC opinion: The situation of women with disabilities (exploratory opinion requested by the European Parliament)

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.
The opinion looks into the situation of women with disabilities in the EU and proposes some recommendations to improve it.


Key points

This opinion calls on the EU, jointly with all its Member States:

  • to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)[1], the recommendations with regard to women and girls with disabilities received by the EU in 2015 and the UN Committee's General Comment No. 3 on Article 6 of the CRPD;
  • to include a disability perspective in its gender equality strategy, policies and programmes, and a gender perspective in its disability strategies, including its future European Disability Strategy 2020-2030 and the European Pillar of Social Rights[2];
  • to set up a structured dialogue with an independent budget line to guarantee meaningful consultation with and participation of persons with disabilities, including women and girls with disabilities;
  • To use EU funding instruments for promoting accessibility and non-discrimination regarding women and girls with disabilities.
  • to accede to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention).
  • to take all measures to ensure that women and girls with disabilities have equal access to disability-specific healthcare services for persons with disabilities, as well as to accessible mainstream services[3].