Open letter from the President of the Global Network of Women for Inclusive Disaster Risk Management to women leaders about Covid-19 and the exclusion of women and girls with disabilities
On this International Women's Day, under the theme "Women leaders: For an equal future in the world of Covid-19", we are invited to celebrate the enormous efforts made by women and girls around the world in defining a more egalitarian future and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, we are also called upon to highlight the deficiencies that still persist.
As a woman, I make such a call my own. I recognize and celebrate the many contributions of women and girls in every corner of the world; from the great women of Bangladesh, through the indefatigable fighters of Africa, the profound knowledge of my sisters in Latin America and the Caribbean, the tremendous strength of the women of Asia Pacific, without forgetting our European sisters.
In the midst of the celebration for the historical and relentless struggle, a cloud overshadows my speech; I have been able to witness the exclusion and oblivion to which, even we women, have condemned women and girls with disabilities.
The forums I have attended, many of them organized by States and by the United Nations, most of the time did not have minimum accessibility measures, in their calls they use images without description, which makes it difficult for blind women to know what they have been invited to participate. invites. Forums of women talking about women's rights without having sign language interpreters excluding deaf women. The gender approach cannot be built from exclusion. Full participation is only achieved from the inclusion of the diversity of women, and among us there are those who experience disability.
Faced with COVID-19, women with disabilities have been the forgotten among the forgotten, the world does not even keep a record of our situation, which must change today, many women with disabilities have died waiting for their dignity to be respected.
I make a strong call for a real commitment to inclusion, not to leave any woman or girl with a disability behind, not to dare to speak about women's rights without taking inclusion measures so that a woman is never excluded for having a disability.
Loreto Brossard F.
President of the global network of women for inclusive disaster risk management
Deputy Executive Director of Inclusive NGO