Women and girls with disabilites are ten times more exposed to sexual violences
While the theme of this International Women’s Rights Day 2023 was digital inequality, other themes related to inequality and discrimination of women and girls were not forgotten. Like the doubly sad reality recalled by Handicap International (Switzerland)*: while 35% of women and girls worldwide are exposed to physical, emotional or sexual violence by their partner or another person, this violence affects women and girls with disabilities, and in particular those living with a mental disability, almost ten times more.
Key public health issue
As Handicap International points out, this is not only a major violation of the rights of the victims, but also a key public health issue. Such violence, often perpetrated by people in charge of these women and girls, leads to numerous health problems, as well as psychological trauma and social and economic exclusion for the victims, in many countries. Moreover, it is children with disabilities who are particularly exposed to this violence and its consequences.
Faced with this invisible violence against women and girls with disabilities, which is still largely ignored by the public, Handicap International is developing projects to enable victims to rebuild their lives, escape isolation and play a role in their community. “Ending this violence is a priority”, explains Bénédicte de la Taille, Handicap International’s expert in protection against violence.
Handicap International’s mission
As the association’s website states: “Handicap International is active in nearly 60 of the world’s poorest countries, and also in Switzerland. The association helps people with disabilities and vulnerable people so that they can ‘live upright’ again.” An indispensable work. (ew)