On November 27 #GivingTuesday, help ensure that women and girls with disabilities are #MoreThanAFootnoteWWD!
Canadian women and girls with disabilities are ungendered and footnoted in social policies, especially those related to violence against women.
Women and girls with disabilities are the largest minority group in Canada and in the world. According to Statistics Canada, 15% of women in Canada have a disability.
But the actual number of women with disabilities is easily upwards of 20% of the population because some groups (brain injured women, women living with episodic and chronic illnesses or pain, and women with intellectual and learning disabilities) are not included in statistics.
Women with disabilities in Canada have the highest rates of unemployment and poverty, and do not have full access to education and health care, including sexual and reproductive services.
The biggest problem we face is violence. According to the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics March 15, 2018 report on Violent Victimization (physical assault, sexual assault or robbery), in 45% of all incidents of violent crime, the victims were women with disabilities.
Yet violence against women policies do not mention women with disabilities or Deaf women, and at the same time, accessibility policies do not specifically mention violence or women.
When we examined these policies, we found that women with disabilities are subsumed within the larger category of “people” with disabilities, so our gendered experiences as women are ignored. Or we are relegated to a footnoted list of “other vulnerable groups” with no attention given to our particular experiences and needs.
As a result, there are no violence prevention or support programs, funding, or services dedicated specifically to women with disabilities.
DAWN Canada is the only national feminist disability organization representing close to five million women in Canada.
On Giving Tuesday, your donation will help ensure that women and girls with disabilities are #MoreThanAFootnoteWWD !