Papers, Articles, Reports & Submissions 1995 – 2000


‘Women and Disability: Perspectives on Education, Community Living & Employment’ – by Amy G. Wright (2000) [PDF]

This report contains selected information on a variety of topics of concern to women with disabilities in the US. The interviews included in this report are meant to provide a truly different and personal perspective on the critical topic of Women and Disability. Copyright 2000.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘A Disabled Genius in the Family: personal musings on the tale of two sisters’- by Helen Meekosha (2000)

Jacqueline du Pre died in October 1987 aged 42 years. She was the world’s leading cellist in the 1960s and early ’70s. In October 1972 at the age of 28 years she had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. This paper provides a discussion and analysis of the movie “Hiliary & Jackie”, a movie about the relationship between Jacqueline du Pre and her sister Hiliary. Copyright 2000.


‘Socio-Empowerment Issues for Women with Disabilities’ – by Sherry Fairchild & Peggy Quinn (2000) [PDF]

In many countries, women with disabilities are excluded from all important areas of life: social interactions, such as friendships, marriage and parenthood; developmental activities in education and training; and economic opportunities in the areas of employment, earning money and maintaining control in their lives. In this discussion, the authors chose to examine the legislative and political environment affecting women with disabilities in four different countries: India, the United Kingdom, the United States, and South Africa. The intent was to determine what laws and policies have been enacted and how these efforts have affected women with disabilities. Copyright 2000.


‘Political Activism and Identity Making: The Involvement of Women in the Disability Rights Movement in Australia’ – by Helen Meekosha (1999)  [PDF]  [Word]

This paper examines the rise in Australia of a feminist engagement with the disability rights movement. It starts from an overall assessment of the emergence of the movement, and then explores the political, cultural and social dimensions of the institutional and ideological struggles that have evolved. An examination will be made of the impact of feminism on the disability movement and the role of women within the movement. The emergence of Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA), a cross-disability national body, and the work of WWDA on crimes of violence against disabled women, raises questions about the ways women with disabilities come to identify with an autonomous women’s group. It also examines the resistance of feminist theory and practice to the acknowledgment of specific issues of disabled women. Copyright 1999.


‘Women and Girls with Disabilities: Defining the Issues’ – by Barbara Waxman Fidducia and Leslie Wolfe (1999) [PDF]

This paper gives a detailed overview of the many issues facing women and girls with disabilities around the world. It covers a wide range of issues including for example: disability and feminism, access to health care, eugenics, reproductive rights, parenting, housing, education and employment, violence and abuse, leadership and more. Copyright 1999.


Issues in gender-sensitive and disability-responsive policy research, training and action – Paper by Margaret Snyder (1999)  [PDF]  [Word]

Paper given at the Seminar on Employment and Sustainable Livelihoods of Persons with Disabilities; issues in technology transfer, microcredit and institutional development, United Nations, 26 April 1999. Copyright 1999.


‘Chartbook on Women and Disability in the United States’ – by L. Jans & S. Stoddard (1999) [PDF]

This book is a rich resource for anyone interested in disability and its impact on girls and women. The Chartbook on Women and Disability in the United States describes the current status of women with disabilities, relative to other women and men with and without disabilities, in a number of different aspects of life. By identifying the specific barriers and discrimination faced by girls and women, the chartbook paves the way for policy and attitudinal changes to ensure equal opportunity. The chartbook also highlights gaps in the research on both disability and gender. Hopefully, this information will stimulate further thoughtful discourse and the creation of policy innovations that will provide more and better opportunities for girls and women with disabilities. Copyright 1999.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the Review of the National Women’s Non-Government Organisations Funding Program (1999)

In February 1999, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women (Senator Jocelyn Newman) announced a Review of the National Women’s Non-Government Organisation’s Funding Program, which is administered by the Commonwealth Office of the Status of Women. Each year under the National Women’s NGO Funding Program, a total of $500,000 is available for funding national women’s organisations. This is a copy of WWDA’s submission to Review of the National Women’s Non-Government Organisation’s Funding Program. WWDA’s Submission addresses a number of issues, including: Gender and Disability; the need for clear NGO Funding Program Objectives; Eligibility for Funding; Mechanisms Which Could Assist Accountability of National Women’s NGO’s; Understanding the Nature of Advocacy; and the Need for Representation of Diversity. Copyright WWDA 1999.


International Leadership Forum for Women with Disabilities: Final Report (1998) [Word]

The International Leadership Forum for Women with Disabilities was one of the most heralded, far reaching and successful events of 1997. Held June 15-20 in Washington, DC, the Forum attracted legislators, artists, advocates, organizational executives, trainers, international assistance experts and grassroots development specialists from around the globe. This document is the proceedings of the Forum. Copyright 1998.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘What is the impact of disability on gender?’ – by Karin Swift (1998)

All people with disabilities are at risk of being denied their gender. This is because many people with disabilities are not given the opportunity to fill important roles, such as mother, father, wife, lover, activist, feminist. This can have an especially detrimental effect on women with disabilities as they often have to put their disability first and their woman hood second. This paper uses case studies to illustrate the intersection of disability and gender. Copyright WWDA 1998.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Burning Issues for People with Disabilities’ – by Elizabeth Hastings (1998)

This is a transcript of a speech given by Elizabeth Hastings at the Annual General Meeting of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), in Melbourne, September 12 1998. Elizabeth Hastings was the former (and the first) Disability Discrimination Commissioner in Australia. Elizabeth Hastings passed away in late 1998. The paper examines a number of issues including: A Discrimination free world to live in; Conditions in Congregate Care; Abuse in Institutions; Care for the whole person; Sterilisation of minors; Genetic Manipulation; Spiritual life and development; The bottom line; Attrition of Human Rights protection; and, Assisted Communication. Copyright 1998.


Disabled Women: An International Resource Kit – By Disability Awareness in Action (1997)  [PDF]  [Word]

This Resource Kit gives an overview of the status of women with disabilities and canvasses a number of issues facing girls and women with disabilities worldwide. It includes the voices of women with disabilities and demonstrates the serious and ongoing violations of the human rights of women and girls around the world. The Kit contains a series of strategies for change. Copyright 1997.


Women with Disabilities: Lessons of Reinforcing the Gender Perspective in International Norms and Standards. By Maria-Cristina Sar-Serrano Mathiason (1997)  [PDF] [Word]

This paper gives an overview of the efforts of women with disabilities in seeking to ensure that disabled women were (and are) included in all aspects of the United Nations development agenda. It details how women with disabilities are addressed (or not) within the many and varied relevant international human rights instruments, norms and standards. It also includes an advocacy section for women with disabilities to use to lobby their governments to ensure implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action. Copyright 1997.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Gender and Disability’ – by Kali Wilde (1997)

A paper presented to the Court Support Network in 1997. Many women and children with disabilities will come into contact with the Family Court. It is essential to understand that attitudes and beliefs held about people with disabilities are often more significant in terms of our life experiences, than the disability itself. Furthermore, it is imperative that disability is recognised as being an issue of poverty. Copyright 1997.


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission To The National Disability Advocacy Program Review (1996)

The National Disability Advocacy Program funds 76 advocacy organisations around Australia to assist people with disabilities, their families and carers to participate in community life on an equitable basis and to achieve their rights as citizens. The National Disability Advocacy Program is administered by the Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services. The Advocacy Program was reviewed in late 1996 and this is WWDA’s submission to that Review. The Submission covers a range of issues including: Disability, Public Policy and Advocacy; Gender and Disability; The Government’s Policy Agenda; Program Effectiveness; Cost Effectiveness; Distribution of Resources; Gaps In Services; Duplication In Services; and, Locale of Disability Advocacy Program. Recommendations are included. Copyright 1996.


Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons: Action Targets Gender Dimensions (1996)  [PDF] [Word]

In June 1995 a regional meeting to review the progress of the Decade was held. The outcome of the meeting was a set of targets and recommendations for the implementation of the Agenda for Action for the Decade, together with recommendations on inclusion of the gender dimension in implementation. The targets and recommendations were endorsed by the Commission, at its fifty-second session in April 1996. The targets and recommendations serve to guide local-, provincial- and national-level action to achieve the Decade goal of ‘full participation and equality’. Copyright 1996.


Joseph Rowntree Foundation (UK): ‘The experiences of disabled women’ (1995)  [PDF]  [Word]

This is a report of the Disabled Women’s Project, which was one of the outcomes of a conference of disabled women held in London in June 1992 by GLAD (Greater London Association of Disabled People). This report details the findings of the Project. Copyright 1995.


‘Women, Gender and ‘Disability’ – Historical and Contemporary Intersections of “Otherness” – by Della Perry and Ruth Keszia Whiteside (1995 & 2000)

Working in an area which is considered to be about something called “disability”, poses considerable challenges for any person who wishes to reflect upon the kinds of cultural and historical determinants which underwrite such a concept. Who or what has decided, and still decides, upon the allocation of one person to the ‘able’ category, and another to the ‘dis’ -abled category? Although we will claim that these simple terms have most often appeared as obscuring, and in denial of the complex nature and experience of any person, we will also consider them as powerful ideologies, influencing and informing who people think and feel they are or ever can be. Some people would suggest that we have neutral measurements and criteria which can objectively indicate ‘intelligence’, as quantifiable and as something ‘real’. Whether one believes or not, that intelligence testing measures anything at all, we must also ask if any kind of ‘evidence’ expresses something fundamental enough about a person, to confer upon them a totalising and representative label – like that of ‘normal’, or ‘genius’, or ‘disabled’. To unravel some of these ideas and questions, we will in this paper, focus upon the historical construction of the idea or concept of ‘intellectual disability’. We would like to stress however, that most versions and varieties of disability are not mutually exclusive and that the general idea of ‘disability’ as an homogenising label, (informing as powerfully as it reflects individual and social experience), is always implicated in our discussion. Likewise, the category of ‘woman’, as determined by particular and essential qualities, (regardless of whether these are understood as biological or cultural in nature), will be considered as often intertwined and enmeshed with concepts about ‘disability’. That these determinations and their combinations, are not accidental, arbitrary, natural or self-evident, but reflect particular social and political interests, is the central theme of this paper. Copyright 1995.


Hidden Sisters: Women and Girls with Disabilities in the Asian and Pacific Region (1995)   [PDF]  [Word]

This publication highlights the main issues concerning women and girls with disabilities and makes recommendations for their advancement within the framework of existing human rights instruments, especially the Agenda for Action for the Decade. Information has been drawn from many different sources, including replies to questionnaires sent out by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) to the national focal points for women-in-development issues and self-help organizations of disabled persons in the region. Copyright 1995.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Empowerment and Women With Disabilities’ – by Margaret Cooper (1995)

This paper examines the concept of ’empowerment’ and what it means for women with disabilities. The author illustrates the concept by providing examples from her own experience. Copyright 1995.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Women – Moving Beyond The Disability’ – by Lina Pane (1995)

This paper examines 4 main themes: Inequality between men and women with disabilities in the sharing of power and decision making at all levels; Insufficient initiatives to promote the advancement of women with disabilities; Triple disadvantage – looking at women with disabilities from non-English speaking backgrounds; and the unmet health needs of women with disabilities. The paper argues that women and society, in general need to examine the experience of women as universal. This includes gender, age, culture, sexuality and disability. Whilst only women with disabilities can speak for women with disabilities, others with overlapping concerns such as non-disabled women and men with disabilities, are equally responsible in the task of working towards change. Copyright 1995.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Emerging From the Shadows – A report on the status of women with disabilities living in Australia’ – by Lina Pane (1994)

In our society, women are frequently discriminated against, because they are women. People with disabilities are frequently discriminated against, because they are disabled. Therefore to be a woman and to have a disability is a double disadvantage. If women with a disability are also from a non English speaking background or an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander women they are often subject to a triple disadvantage. This Report examines this disadvantage from a number of perspectives. It looks at: The burden of poverty on women with disabilities; Inequality in access to education, health and related services; Violence against women; Effects of armed or other kinds of conflict on women; Inequality in the access of women with disabilities and participation in the definition of economic structures and policies; Inequality between men and women with disabilities in the sharing of power and decision making at all levels; Insufficient machinery at all levels to promote the advancement of women; Lack of awareness of and commitment to internationally and nationally recognised women’s human rights; Insufficient use of mass media to promote women’s positive contributions to society; and Lack of support and recognition for women’s contribution to managing natural resources and safeguarding the environment. The Report also contains recommendations for action to address these issues. Copyright 1994.


‘Women With Disabilities and their Families’ – By Alex Gregg (1994)

Women with disabilities experience the same joys and frustrations with their families as other women, but for women with disabilities, because of the nature of their impairments and the barriers presented by an inaccessible world, meeting their own needs and those of their families is more difficult.  This article by Alex Gregg, examines these issues.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Discrimination Against Women With Disabilities’ – by Margaret Cooper (1993)

Women with disabilities are not protected by the Sex Discrimination Act (SDA) or the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) when it comes to gaining access to a Disability Support Program. This paper seeks to explore and explain this issue for women with disabilities. Copyright 1993.


Report on the Seminar of Disabled Women (Vienna 1990)  [PDF]  [Word]

This seminar, convened by the United Nations, focused on issues relating to the double discrimination that is experienced by disabled women. Situations of double discrimination against disabled women can be documented in the areas of education, training, health and employment, among others. The seminar was attended by one consultant, 20 participants, and 20 observers from Member States, bodies of the United Nations system and specialized agencies, and other non-governmental organizations. This report details the proceedings of the Seminar. Copyright 1990.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Women of the Shadow Universe: The Relationship Between Gender and Disability and its Effect on the Lives of Women With Disabilities – A Preliminary Survey’ – by Diana Palmer and Patricia Woodcoft-Lee (1990)

Approximately 16% of Australians have a disability. Just under half of these are women, 15.2% of Australian women to be exact. However, although this is a sizeable chunk of the population, yet one which has until very recently been largely ignored, by policy makers, academics and the women’s movement. It is also notable that, although there are almost as many females as males identifying as having a disability, the education and labour force participation rates for women are considerably lower for women and for men. This paper attempts to analyse the factors which contribute to the lack of awareness, not only of the needs of women with disabilities, but even of their very existence. Copyright 1990.


Women With Disabilities Australia: ‘Women With Disabilities: How Far Have We Come?’ – by Joan Hume (1990)

What is the current agenda for women with disabilities? What are their major concerns? Are the stereotypes changing? Do they really want to be sex objects? Has the women’s movement helped or hindered the disability cause? This paper looks at these and other questions. Copyright 1990.


‘Women and Disability – An Issue’- A Collection of writings by women with disabilities

This is a collection of writings by women with disabilities. The collection was written by the Women with Disabilities Feminist Collective with the help of other disabled women in Victoria and South Australia. It was produced by the Melbourne based Women with Disabilities Feminist Collective in the late 1980’s. The exact publishing date is unknown. Copyright.