Panel 1: Violence against women and girls with disabilities

47th session of the Human Rights Council

Annual Discussion on Women’s Rights

Panel 1: Violence against women and girls with disabilities

Joint Statement on behalf of Nordic-Baltic countries


6 July 2021


Madame President, distinguished panellists,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.

Due to multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, women and girls with disabilities face unique and pervasive barriers to the full realization of their human rights. They have a much higher risk of being victims and survivors of sexual- and gender-based violence and harassment than others. Increased online abuse towards persons with disabilities has far-reaching impacts.

The emergence of a shadow pandemic of violence has put women and girls with disabilities at an even greater risk. It has not only increased risk factors for sexual- and gender-based violence but also increased barriers to accessing essential support and health services that enable independent living. Confinement measures have meant that women and girls with disabilities have often been confined to the same premises as their perpetrators.

The Nordic-Baltic countries are committed to eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls with disabilities, and achieving gender equality for women and girls in all their diversity. We encourage all states to join the Istanbul Convention. It is an important instrument to eliminate violence against all women and girls once and for all, because every woman and girl has the right to a life free from violence.

We have a question for the panellists:

How could we be more effective in ensuring accountability as well as addressing the root causes and negative stereotypes at the intersection of disability and gender?

I thank you.