Where Cape Verde is concerned, the only NGO here was from a disabled women association! We thank them for their statement which shows how similar is the discrimination is against disabled women globally
Committee of Women with Disabilities of Capeverdean Federation of Associations of Persons with Disabilities
Good afternoon Madam Chair and Members of the CEDAW Committee,
I am Jandira Monteiro, reading the following statement on behalf of MARIA NALDI DA VEIGA who is present here but is Portuguese-speaking.
Maria represents the Committee of Women with Disabilities of the Capeverdean Federation of Associations of Persons with Disabilities and three Groups of Non-Governmental Women’s Organizations.
We would like to highlight the following issues concerning women and girls with disabilities:
- the lack of inclusive and quality education;
- there is no equal employment opportunities for women with disabilities compared to men with disabilities and women without disabilities;
- the forced sterilization which is a form of violence against women and girls with disability;
- lack of special assistance mechanisms to have full access to justice and protection mechanisms especially in reporting cases of violence against women
- the experience of multiple discrimination based both on gender, disability and other systemic of historic discrimination. Due to this intersectionality, they often face inequality in access, opportunities and benefits
Although the right to education for all children is safeguarded in the Article 36 of the basic law on education of Cape Verde, girls with disabilities are excluded and have their right to education violated. The participation of the female students is 44% and for boys is 56% according to the gender assessment from 2009. If, in general terms, it appears that girls and women are at disadvantage relatively to boys/men with the regard to the rate of school attendance in Cape Verde, this disadvantage is even more pronounced when we talk about girls/women with disabilities. Girls with disabilities are excluded from the education system, either by the family that often overprotects or underestimates or by the system that is not comprehensive or affordable.
The provision of reasonable accommodation and accessibility in general, by widening access programs to the professional and work world, both in access to vocational training and employment opportunities also emphasized as necessary. Women with disabilities reported discrimination in access to job, employment and income generation. As a result, more women, particularly women with disabilities often feel trapped in abusive relationships because there are no effective measures to survive independently if they decide to leave such a relationship.
In Cape Verde, there is the practice of sterilization of women with disabilities, especially women with psychosocial disabilities without the informed consent of the concerned person.
The Government of Cape Verde should create conditions to ensure communication in Braille and sign language including other necessary assistive mechanisms for women and girls with disabilities in order for them to be systematically consulted and actively involved in the formulation of laws, policies and strategies relating to them in all areas.
The Constitution of the Republic of Cape Verde does not provide a comprehensive definition of discrimination against women with disabilities. It is critical that the Government of Cape Verde to recognize in our Constitution and ordinary laws that denial of reasonable accommodation is considered a form of discrimination. The denials of reasonable accommodation are lack of braille programme, no official recognition of sign language, lack of accessibility to public and private buildings including other necessary assistive mechanisms.
The State should take steps towards changing societal attitudes by increasing awareness about the rights of women and girls with disabilities with the appropriate public and private actors, through better information, education and training.
There is a lack of available data and studies on the violence against women and girls with disabilities. Hence, it is crucial to prioritise a comprehensive database on women with disabilities in Cape Verde.