General comment No.3 on Article 6 – women and girls with disabilities
25 November 2016
At its 9th session, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities held a half-day of general discussion on women and girls with disabilities on 17 April 2013 and decided to establish a working group to draft a general comment on the situation of women and girls with disabilities (Art. 6).
At its 13th session, the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities adopted a draft of general comment no. 3 on women with disabilities, article 6 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In this regard, the Committee invited interested parties to provide written input on the draft.
There is strong evidence to show that women and girls with disabilities face barriers in most areas of life. These barriers create situations of multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination against women and girls with disabilities, in particular with regard to: equal access to education, economic opportunities, social interaction and justice; equal recognition before the law; and the ability to participate in politics and to exercise control over their own lives across a range of contexts, for example with regard to health care, including sexual and reproductive health services, and to where and with whom they wish to live.
Article 6 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a response to the lack of recognition of the rights of women and girls with disabilities, who worked hard to have that article included in the treaty.
Article 6 reinforces the non-discriminatory approach of the Convention, in particular in respect of women and girls, and requires that States parties go beyond refraining from taking discriminatory actions to adopting measures aimed at the development, advancement and empowerment of women and girls with disabilities and the promotion of measures to empower them by recognizing that they are distinct rights holders, providing channels to have their voice heard and to exercise agency, raising their self-confidence and increasing their power and authority to take decisions in all areas affecting their lives.
Article 6 should guide States parties to comply with their Convention-related responsibilities to promote, protect and fulfil the human rights of women and girls with disabilities, from a human rights-based approach and a development perspective.