The integration of women with disabilities in the 2015 development agenda is weak in the Pacific region says Ms Bridget Leduc, Gender Advisor of the Secretariat if the Pacific Community.
Speaking at the opening of the Pacific Women with disabilities conference held at the Ramada Plaza in Noumea, New Caledonia this morning, Ms Leduc emphasized that the social and economic integration of women with disabilities requires much more than infrastructures and services.
“If we want women with disabilities to have equal opportunities to fulfill their aspirations and be active members of society, we need to work harder to change people’s mindset about women, and about people with disabilities.” Ms Leduc told the 50 women with disabilities representing the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) member Disabled Persons Organization, partners and organization from across the Pacific countries.
Ms Leduc said that instead of focusing on people’s disabilities, we may want to adopt another perspective and look at their capacities.
“There are many women in the Pacific islands, with or without disabilities, who are capable, who contribute to their society, and who work hard to shape the future for their children.”
Pacific women with disabilities had the opportunities to discuss issues relating to 2015 Development Agenda including women economic participation and economic empowerment, violence against women and access to justice, sexual and reproductive health and gender, climate change and disaster risk reduction.
The outcome statement from the Pacific Regional Women with Disabilities Forum will be presented at the PDF General Meeting on the 12th of April 2013.