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‘Women with disabilities in India face greater discrimination’: D.R.P.I. Study

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: A statement submitted to the U.N. +15 Beijing Review Process by Disabled Peoples International (D.P.I.) has come up with grim information on the situation of women with disabilities. It cites a recent study conducted by Disability Rights Promotion International (D.R.P.I.), a non-governmental organization that monitors rights of persons with disabilities around the world, which states that women with disabilities in India face triple discrimination of being female, being disabled and being poor.

The study was conducted in India and Kenya on behalf of D.P.I. and paints a gloomy picture on the plight of women with disabilities and the stigma they endure on account of their disability. D.P.R.I. with the help of its partners in both countries interviewed men and women with various impairments. Select places in the two countries were chosen to conduct the study and to monitor the situation.

In India, women with disabilities, were found to be powerless, isolated, anonymous and vulnerable to abuse and violence. Their plight was worse than both, men with disabilities and women without disabilities.

D.P.R.I. conducted 113 interviews in three places in Andhra Pradesh, which revealed gender discrimination among people with disabilities. Women with disabilities reported facing more discrimination from their family members and in society.

The study mentions that while the condition of women with disabilities have not been considered under any legislation, the XIth Five Year Plan clearly mentions to need to consider the situation of women with disabilities in all its complexity, focusing on the need for an intersectional understanding of discrimination in order for policy to be effective.

The study according to Shampa Sengupta of Sruti Disability Rights Centre, Kolkata, Talks a lot about discrimination but not about violence per se. Violence faced by women with disabilities, lack of access to police and judiciary, exclusion from Violence Against Women (V.A.W.) related laws in India are some of the things that were left out. These could have made the document complete.