Building the collective power of women with disabilities - AWID Forum 2016

CBM will take part in the 13th AWID international forum held in Brazil from 8-11 September 2016, which will be attended by over 2,000 participants. The Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) is a global, feminist membership organisation that has been part of women’s rights movements working to achieve gender equality, sustainable development and women's human rights worldwide.


The AWID forum meets every four years, bringing together around 2000 women's rights leaders, donor agencies, development practitioners, grassroots leaders and activists from around the world.

The theme for the 13th AWID forum is Feminist Futures: Building Collective Power for Rights and Justice. The forum will bring together activists not just from women’s rights and feminist movements but also peace, economic justice, environmental, and human rights movements, among others.

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Take a look at our brochure: The 3P’s for inclusion of women with disabilities - The Personal, The Political, The Policy

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CBM at the AWID Forum

CBM will be attending the AWID Forum to ensure that the issues facing women with disabilities are articulated. It is widely acknowledged that women with disabilities are underrepresented in the both the disability movement and the feminist/gender equality movement. AWID presents a unique opportunity for women with disabilities, their representative organisations and organisations who have included gender and disability in their work to come together to advance a more disability inclusive feminist movement

Over the 4 days of the event CBM will support a delegation of women with disabilities from Madagascar, Nepal, Peru, Lebanon, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Nigeria led by CBM’s Senior Advisor on Disability and Gender Equality, Mary Keogh. Our delegation will highlight how important gender equality is for women with disabilities and discuss the barriers as well as the opportunities for women with disabilities to be active participants in development.

Furthermore CBM will co-host a panel called “Building the collective power of women with disabilities – shared experiences from Nepal, Peru, Lebanon and East Africa”. At this panel CBM will premier a video with the inputs of many different women with disabilities that has been filmed across a number of regions. 

Maegan Shanks, the Disability Inclusive Development Learning Coordinator will represent CBM on another panel called the Young Feminist Hub where she will highlight the importance of intersectionality. 

Due to the culture of my country (Spain) but also the lack of policy will and resources, the families of women and girls with disabilities take care of them. Normally the care figures are also women from the family, so they invest their time on taking care of their disabled relatives for no salary and with no support from the Government.
Alba Gonzalez, EU Policy Officer

Why is gender equality important for all people with disabilities

Gender equality is a central question for all people with disabilities, and not just for women. Addressing and overcoming gender gaps is the most powerful tool to strive for the realisation of rights for all members of society. Women with disabilities often face a multitude of barriers in society preventing them from achieving their full potential and from playing an equal role compared to men with disabilities. Challenging and removing these barriers through advocacy work contributes to a fairer society for all. Women, men, girls and boys with disabilities face challenges tied not only to the discrimination based on disability but also to gender discrimination, thereby adding another layer of barriers.

To know more about the intersection of gender and disability, read this interview of women and men with disabilities from different regions of the world talking about their perspectives on gender equality, what it means for them and why it is important for disability-inclusive development.

Gender equality in the SDGs

The Sustainable Development Goals and particularly Goal 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) has a key role in creating opportunities for women and girls with disabilities to fulfill their full potential. Goal 5 includes a number of targets which are equally relevant to women and girls with disabilities. Read more here

SDG 5: Gender equality and Disability Inclusive Development in the SDGs

This article gives an overview of some of the key targets of Goal 5 of the SDGs

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Five Perspectives on Gender Equality

We interviewed women and men with disabilities to get their perspectives on gender equality

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International Women's Day 2016

CBM celebrates International Women's Day on March 8

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Intersectionalities of Identities

CBM will soon be attending the 13th AWID international forum in Brazil. We take this opportunity to interview our colleague Maegan Shanks.

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Ada's Story

As a child, Ada was affected by polio, leaving her with mobility restrictions and an introverted demeanor.