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Dhaka Tribune

Disability can’t hold us back

Update : 11 Mar 2015, 06:01 PM

Gender mainstreaming was established as a major global strategy for the promotion of gender equality in the Beijing Platform for Action from the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995.

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted a resolution on gender mainstreaming in 2001 to ensure gender perspectives are taken into account in all its work.

The Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was adopted by the United Nations on December 18, 1976 and was effective as an international treaty on September 3, 1981. The convention aims to promote women’s equal status and rights in the areas of domestic violence, reproductive rights, legal and political rights, among others. Bangladesh signed the convention on 6th of November 1984.

To specify the rights issues of persons with disabilities, the Bangladesh parliament has passed the Persons with Disabilities Rights and Protection Act 2013 on October 9,2013. This act identified the rights of persons with disabilities as well as that women with disabilities have equal rights. The achievement of greater equality of human rights and social justice is ignored by ignoring the inclusion of women with disabilities in the practice of mainstreaming the gender equality process.

Education and skill development is the prerequisite to achieve the economic empowerment and social justice for any marginalised groups. The challenges of the education and skills development of women with disabilities of any groups and communities like in remote villages, coastal areas, char-lands, hilly areas are many times times more because of inadequate educational services, inaccessible vehicles to reach educational institutes, accessible infrastructure, poverty, and lack of consciousness about the need of education among girls with disabilities, etc.

The individual integrity and dedication of women with disabilities helps to achieve education and other skills by overcoming all challenges.

Women with disabilities have more patience, courage, and skills to manage challenges as they overcome all challenges of their own surroundings every day.

So, women with disabilities should be the “symbol of efficiency” all over the world. This efficiency has not yet been appraised in most work places yet.

Various non-government and government organisations run various projects and programs to make people aware about the rights of persons with disabilities.

At the grassroots level and mass level, we see significant progress in the awareness about rights of people with disabilities, but the specific initiative of any individual organisational practice is too limited.

By getting ignored from the recruitment process, women with disabilities are being discriminated against in terms of the right to employment and economic empowerment. 

The cost of education for a girl child with disability of developing countries is more than the cost of the education of a non-disabled girl or boy.

As a result, the number of higher educated women with disabilities is still less than men with disabilities. The recruitment of women with disabilities is also less than men with disabilities.

Among the employers of our country, good examples can be found in the corporate sector to recruit persons with disabilities. Some corporate organisations like a few banks and RMG companies have inclusive human resource policies to recruit persons with disability and provide a disability-friendly environment.

These organisations are implementing it for their humanity as well as for a good reputation in the society and country. Although the NGOs are the initiators for the awareness about rights of persons with disabilities, there are hardly NGOs in our country who have a disability and gender policy.

As a result, women with disabilities are being ignored during the recruitment process even in human rights organisations in our country. From the website of the NGO affairs bureau of Bangladesh, we can see that we have 2,356 NGOs which receive foreign grants. If they would recruit one female and one male with disability in each organisation, then the employed number of persons with disabilities would be a remarkable example.

The implementation of a gender and disability policy is undeniably very important. There are many organisations where persons with disabilities, particularly women with disabilities, are recruited for indecent positions.

There are hardly any women with disabilities at managerial or senior positions. The fair employee evaluation is also a crucial issue within the organisational inside practices. Good governance is expected within the organisation at first, then it is to be demanded from society. Lack of accountability and good governance in an organisation are depriving women with disabilities from enjoying economic empowerment.

Gender policy and its implementation are essential to ensure equal rights of women in the workplace for an inclusive society. 

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