Papers, Articles, Reports & Submissions 2011 – 2015


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Report from the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) 10th Session – Review of Australia’ – By Carolyn Frohmader (October 2013) [PDF] [Word]

In August 2013, WWDA Executive Director Carolyn Frohmader, was selected as a member of the six person ‘Australian Civil Society Parallel Report Group Delegation’ to represent the views of people with disabilities in Australia to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities during its formal review of Australia’s compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The Review took place during the CRPD Committee’s 10th Session in Geneva, 2-13 September 2013. Carolyn spent a week at the United Nations in Geneva, working with the CRPD Committee as a member of the Civil Society Parallel Report Group, as well as participating in a number of other events during the week. During her time in Geneva, Carolyn was also able to take up a range of opportunities to meet with several key stakeholders to specifically focus on WWDA’s work and also to provide advice and expertise on issues concerning women and girls with disabilities. This Report has been prepared by Carolyn to highlight her work and experiences during her time in Geneva. Copyright October 2013.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Dehumanised: The Forced Sterilisation of Women and Girls with Disabilities in Australia’ – WWDA Submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Involuntary or Coerced Sterilisation of People with Disabilities in Australia (March 2013)

[Full Submission PDF] [Full Submission Appendices PDF] [Full Submission Word]  [Summary & Recommendations PDF] [Summary & Recommendations Word]

The Senate Inquiry into Involuntary or Coerced Sterilisation of People with Disabilities in Australia commenced in late 2012 and Submissions to the Inquiry closed in early March 2013. The Senate will report on the Inquiry by June 2013. WWDA’s Submission to the Inquiry establishes beyond doubt, that forced and coerced sterilisation of women and girls with disabilities is an internationally recognised form of torture – an inhuman practice which violates multiple human rights, and clearly breaches every international human rights treaty to which Australia is a party. WWDA’s Submission addresses the issue of forced and coerced sterilisation in detail. It examines the background to, and the status of the issue in Australia today, and examines the rationale used to justify the forced sterilisation of disabled women and girls, including themes such as eugenics/genetics; for the good of the State, community or family; incapacity for parenthood; incapacity to develop and evolve; prevention of sexual abuse; and discourses around “best interest”. WWDA’s Submission analyses Australian Court and Tribunal applications and authorisations for sterilisation of disabled women and girls, and demonstrates that the Australian Government’s current justification of the “best interest approach” in the sterilisation of disabled women and girls, has in effect, been used to perpetuate discriminatory attitudes against women and girls with disabilities, and has only served to facilitate the practice of forced sterilisation. The impact of forced sterilisation on women and girls with disabilities is also highlighted in WWDA’s Submission, and reaffirms, through the voices of those affected, that forced and coerced sterilisation has long-lasting physical, psychological and social effects. WWDA’s Submission looks in detail at forced and coerced sterilisation as a violation of human rights and provides an analysis of how the practice contravenes every international human rights treaty to which Australia is a party. Several recent and current legal cases are used to highlight that the issue of forced and coerced sterilisation of women and girls is increasingly being recognised in Courts around the world, as a violation of women’s fundamental human rights. Importantly, WWDA’s Submission also examines redress and transitional justice for women and girls with disabilities who have been sterilised in the absence of their fully informed and free consent. WWDA’s Submission includes 18 Key Recommendations, covering areas such as legislative reforms; transitional justice and redress, (including financial reparation, rehabilitation and recovery); research; informed consent; parenting; violence prevention; supportive decision-making; mechanisms to enable participation of women and girls with disabilities in decision-making; and more. ISBN: 978-0-9876035-0-0. Copyright WWDA March 2013.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the CRPD Committee 9th Session Half Day of General Discussion on Women and Girls with Disabilities (February 2013) [PDF] [Word]

The Committee on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD) meets from 15th – 19th April 2013 for its ninth session. As part of the ninth session, the CRPD Committee is holding a half day General Discussion on Women and Girls with Disabilities. The CRPD Committee invited WWDA to provide a Submission to inform the half day General Discussion on Women and Girls with Disabilities.This is a copy of WWDA’s Submission. It provides an analyisis of key issues for women and girls with disabilities in Australia, in the context of key articles within the Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities (CRPD). Copyright WWDA February 2013.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Policy Paper: ‘Assessing the situation of women with disabilities in Australia: A human rights approach'(July 2011) [PDF] [Word]

This Paper uses a human rights framework to document the range of data, research and information needed in order to give a comprehensive assessment of the situation of women with disabilities in Australia. The paper provides the context for this work by giving an overview of the intersection of gender and disability, as well as a brief background to the human rights imperative. Using key articles from the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the paper then prescribes the key quantitative and qualitative data and research required under each article, and links this to Australia’s international human rights obligations and domestic policy context. Copyright WWDA July 2011.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Submission to the Attorney General’s Department on the Background Paper on ‘A New National Human Rights Action Plan for Australia’ (February 2011) [PDF] [Word]

In December 2010, the Attorney-General’s Department released a Background Paper outlining the strategy for the development of ‘A new National Human Rights Action Plan for Australia’. WWDA was invited to provide comment on the Background Paper, and subsequently developed a written Submission which was forwarded to the Attorney-General’s Department in February 2011. WWDA’s Submission strongly endorsed the Government’s commitment to develop a national human rights action plan.WWDA’s Submission to the Background Paper contains a number of recommendations, several which focus on the process (as outlined in the Background Paper) of developing the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP). Copyright WWDA February 2011.