Papers, Articles, Reports & Submissions 2006 – 2010


Women With Disabilities Australia: Submission to the National Human Rights Consultation (May 2009) [PDF]  [Word]

This Submission is the response from Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) to the National Human Rights Consultation. The national public consultation about the legal recognition and protection of human rights and responsibilities in Australia was launched by the Australian Government on 10 December 2008, the 60th anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The independent Committee established to undertake the nationwide consultation is to report to the Australian Government by 31 August 2009. WWDA’s Submission highlights the fact that although Australia has embraced and ratified a number of international human rights treaties and instruments affirming its commitment to protect and promote the human rights of women and girls (including women and girls with disabilities), in practice, they have had little bearing on improving the human rights of women and girls with disabilities in Australia – who continue to experience serious violations of their human rights, as well as failures to promote and fulfil their rights. WWDA’s Submission focuses on several key human rights where there are continuing abuses against women with disabilities in Australia, and clearly demonstrates that the human rights of women with disabilities in Australia are not currently sufficiently protected and promoted. Copyright WWDA 2009.


United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA): A Situational Analysis of the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Women with Disabilities (May 2009)  [PDF]

For the international community to move forward and recognize the rights of women with disabilities to SRH services it is important to attend to and understand not only the physical barriers women living with disabilities may face, but also the negative perceptions that stigmatize women with disabilities. To do so, this paper will examine various areas that directly and indirectly contribute to the barriers to SRH services which women with disabilities experience. The challenges to arriving at adequate standards of SRH will be addressed along with composite barriers including discrimination and gender based violence. Environment and geography also affect the availability of SRH services and women with disabilities’ access to SRH. Accordingly, SRH needs within emergency situations will be analysed.


‘Sexual Assault and Adults with a Disability’ – by S. Murray & A. Powell for the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault (October 2008)  [PDF]  [Word]

Adults with a disability can face particular barriers to disclosure of sexual assault and the responses to those who disclose are often inadequate. Enabling disclosure and providing the most appropriate responses across public policy, the criminal justice system and the service sector require further and urgent attention. This issues paper, drawing on international literature as well as consultations with staff of a number of Australian programs, provides clear directions for future research and practice in responding to and preventing sexual assault among adults with a disability. Copyright 2008.


‘Disability and Sexual Orientation: A Discussion Paper’ – by National Disability Authority, Dublin (2006)  [PDF]  [Word]

The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss issues and specific support needs across a number of themes, which are relevant to people with disabilities who are lesbian, gay and bisexual, both within the disabled community and within the lesbian, gay and bisexual community. Copyright 2006.


‘Regulation of disabled women’s sexuality’ – by Nisha (India)(2006) [PDF]

This article examines the ways in which the sexual lives of disabled women are denied, resisted and controlled at various levels. Nisha is a women’s rights advocate and a development worker committed to working towards ending violence against women and girls. Copyright 2006.


‘I have a great sex life. Does that shock you?’ – Interview by Joan McFadden (UK) (2006)   [PDF]  [Word]

It’s often assumed that people with disabilities can’t enjoy sex. Joan McFadden meets two women who want to change that perception. This article originally appeared in The Guardian, on Thursday August 17 2006. Copyright 2006.