47th session of the Human Rights Council — Annual full-day discussion on the human rights of women

Ministry Statements & Speeches:

Panel 1: Violence against women and girls with disabilities. Delivered by Lucy Duncan, New Zealand Permanent Representative, 5 July 2021.

Madam Chair,

Aotearoa New Zealand acknowledges that violence against women and girls with disabilities is a serious issue, both domestically and globally.

In our own country, disabled adults are significantly more likely to experience violence at the hand of an intimate partner, family member, or stranger, than other adults. They are also significantly more likely to be subjected to sexual assault. This risk is increased in the case of disabled women and girls.

New Zealand is actively working to advance the rights of women and girls with disabilities, and to prevent violence against them, by applying the values of kaitiakitanga (guardianship) manaakitanga (generosity and care) and whānaungatanga (connectedness).

New Zealand champions an inclusive and human rights based approach to prevent violence against all women and girls, including those with disabilities. We aim to centre the voice of those affected to ensure a ‘gender equality perspective’ and ‘disability-rights perspective’ in public policies and programming, following the call for “nothing about us without us”.

Domestically, the Government is developing a national strategy and action plan to Eliminate Family Violence and Sexual Violence. People with disabilities, in particular women with disabilities, have been closely consulted to ensure the strategy responds to their needs. Our Office for Disability Issues is also working to improve the lives of disabled women and girls, including by providing accessible and inclusive sexual violence services.

Internationally, New Zealand also supports the incorporation of gender and disability rights perspectives into development programmes including those focused on education, health and the implementation of domestic violence and family protection legislation. We also support the inclusion of women and girls, and persons living with disabilities in humanitarian response policies and programmes.

We welcome this opportunity to discuss how we can better advance the rights of women and girls with disabilities.

Thank you.


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