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56th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women PANEL - RURAL WOMEN & GIRLS WITH DISABILITIES: ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT & POLITICAL PARTICIPATION.

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Presentation on theme: "56th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women PANEL - RURAL WOMEN & GIRLS WITH DISABILITIES: ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT & POLITICAL PARTICIPATION."— Presentation transcript:

1 56th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women PANEL - RURAL WOMEN & GIRLS WITH DISABILITIES: ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT & POLITICAL PARTICIPATION A/Professor Helen Meekosha Women with Disabilities Australia and the University of New South Wales. Sydney

2 What type of disability ?Women and girls – older, young, single, married, living with family, employed/unemployed, immigrant/ indigenous, sexual identity, class… Rural – global North/ global South, isolated/ remote ( Australia, Africa, South America, Tibet)

3 World overview I billion people in the world are disabled, (WHO 2011) 15% of total population. 80% of disabled people live in global South 20% of the world’s poorest people are disabled, tend to be regarded as the most disadvantaged. Disabled women severely disadvantaged based on a range of socioeconomic indicators, such as employment, education, income What do we know if we add rural and remote living into the equation?

4 The Tyranny of Distance Literature examining intersection between rural/ remote, disability and gender almost non existent. Need to look at the context of what is “rural” and “remote” – how are these concepts represented In indigenous communities, many of whom live in remote and very remote in Australia disability blurs with many deprivations back to colonisation. 50% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over had a disability or long- term health condition in (Australian Bureau of Statistics) Immigrants with temporary work visas ( 457) end up in remote and rural areas.

5 Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi The geographical area where Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi provides services. Waltja’s Association members are drawn from this vast area. Estimated population of Aboriginal people in this area is 13,000 spread over 900,000 square kilometres. The following are the main language groups spoken in this area: Warlpiri, Luritja, Western Arrernte, Eastern Arrernte, Pintupi, Kaytej, Anmatyerre, Alyawarre and Pitjantjatjara.

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7 Summary of issues facing rural and remote disabled women in rural Tasmania Isolation – transport – fear and shame Lack of services and resources Family,networks and community Diminishing employment opportunities Poverty and extra costs of disability Unemployment, loss of industry Social Relationships Abuse and violence Research done in rural Tasmania in December 2011

8 Economic Empowerment & Political Participation Remarkable resilience displayed by disabled women and girls in rural areas despite preconceptions and stereotypes But before economic empowerment and political participation, some essential first steps – disabled women need to have their voices and stories heard – afforded both Recognition and Respect by governments & broader society


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