DRF Newsletter - June 2016
Dear supporters, colleagues and friends,
A group of men and women in Haiti pose for a photo
DRF/DRAF grantees from Haiti after a training with Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI)
In May, the annual forum of the Alliance for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) - one of the largest international gatherings for women's rights - was to occur in Brazil, but the Zika crisis led to postponement. For the first time, the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund and AWID are partnering to ensure that when the Forum is held, in September 2016, the largest number of women with disabilities ever will attend. 

With 19% of all women estimated to be disabled by the World Bank and the World Health Organization, it is critical that women's rights campaigns, organizations, and gatherings include a disability perspective. 

Especially in times when disability stigmatization is being used to open doors to reproductive rights, as is occurring now with the Zika virus, it is so important that dialogue between rights movements recognizes the inherent dignity of all human beings. 

For more on this topic and to add to the dialogue, read the AWID blog series to which DRF has contributed:    

We also invite you to listen to Disability Rights Fund stakeholders, including Esther Louis, founding director of an organization of women with disabilities in Haiti - l'Union des Femmes a Mobilité Réduite d'Haiti - speak about gender and disability at our annual event this week, June 9th at 5:30pm in the Jonathan Spack conference center in the NonProfit Center at 89 South Street in downtown Boston. 

Thank you for your continued support,

Diana Samarasan
Founding Executive Director

DRF to co-organize side event at COSP 9 in New York!
UN CRPD 10 Year celebration logo
DRF/DRAF is co-hosting a side event entitled "One in Seven: Ensuring No One is Left Behind" during the 9th UN Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities this month. This year, the UNCRD celebrates its 10th year in existence. Find out more about the event below.

One in Seven: Ensuring No One is Left Behind
Wednesday June 15, 2016 from 1.15-2.30pm
UN Headquarters, Conference Room 7
New York, NY

Both the CRPD and Agenda 2030 emphasize the importance of inclusive approaches that leave no one behind. The CRPD's article 4.3 mandates participation of persons with disabilities in achieving rights; Agenda 2030 underscores the importance of involvement of all stakeholders in implementation. This session will explore how the CRPD has been used to ensure that especially marginalized sectors of the disability community are involved in rights achievement. It will also highlight how the CRPD can be used to ensure that those most marginalized are not left behind in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The event is organized by DRF/DRAF and co-sponsored by the Permanent Missions of the United Kingdom and Australia to the UN. 
News around DRF
DRF, MIUSA, IFES & CBM present at Interaction Forum 2016

Lisa Adams sitting and speaking alongside two presenters during a conference DRF Program Director Lisa Lamont Adams participated at Interaction Forum 2016 which took place from 18-20 April in Washington, DC. She presented alongside representatives from Mobility International USA (MIUSA) International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and CBM International on the importance of cross-sector and cross-movement collaboration for effective implementation of the SDGs. 

Lisa Adams' presentation focused specifically on intersectional rights issues and collaboration of disabled persons organizations with other civil society actors, including women's rights organizations and other human rights stakeholders to promote rights of women with disabilities. Adams also spoke on the success that several women-led DRF/DRAF grantees have had in working with legal aid organizations to address access to justice for women with disabilities. 

Find out more about the Interaction Forum by clicking on the link below.

One year ago this month: DRF examines situation of WWDs in Nepal following earthquake

Two women pose for a photo in a village in Nepal
80 percent of women with disabilities face physical violence, and 50 percent experience sexual violence, in their lifetime.

On May 19, 2015 DRF and the Urgent Action Fund wrote a piece on the situation of women with disabilities in Nepal following the two devastating earthquakes that claimed more than 8,000 lives and injured far more. The article highlighted the fact that persons with disabilities, especially women and girls, were among the last to gain access to emergency relief services during the post-earthquake disaster response. This, in turn, led to many avoidable deaths and further injury of persons with disabilities in the affected areas. 

Read the story to find out more on the barriers faced by women with disabilities in Nepal in the post-disaster reconstruction and how this is part of a global trend of discrimination and exclusion of persons with disabilities in disaster risk planning.
DRF Stakeholders in the News

ANDY produces video on sexual and reproductive rights for WWD
Watch this video produced by former DRF advisor Fredrick Ouko's organization, Action Network for the Disabled, on promoting the right of women with disabilities to access sexual and reproductive health services. It tells the story of a young woman named Gift and her struggle to make her own decisions regarding her sexual and reproductive health.

DRF/DRAF grantees support passage of Indonesia Sexual Violence Bill

A photo frame containing photos of two women stands on a table
DRF/DRAF grantees in Indonesia have joined other civil society organizations in demanding action from government to curb growing incidents of sexual violence against women, including women with disabilities. Civil society activists and DRF/DRAF grantees - including groups of women with disabilities, people with psychosocial disabilities, blind people and Deaf people - are asking government to pass a draft Sexual Violence Bill. The bill explicitly includes women and girls with disabilities.  Read the BBC's article about the growing sexual violence epidemic in Indonesia. 

DRF/DRAF grantee plays leading role in Women Deliver's Global Conference 

CREA logo
Women Deliver's 4th Global Conference brought together world leaders, advocates, policymakers, journalists, young people, researchers and leaders of from the private sector and civil society .
The conference, which was held in Copenhagen from May 16-19, 2016, focused on implementation of the  Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as they relate to women and girls, with special  emphasis on  maternal, sexual, and reproductive health and rights, as well as the inter-connections between gender and education, environment, and economy
DRAF grantee, CREA organized and led six sessions at the international conference, including one focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights of women with disabilities. CREA continues to be a recognized leader in gender equality: in January 2016, CREA's founding Executive Director, Geetanjali Misra, was invited to write a piece on forced marriage among children - an issue that also affects girls with disabilities around the world. Access her story   via this link  and read more on the conference by using the link below. 

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