Conference Papers, Other Articles & Reports 2016 – 2020

Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) and Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia): Submission to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities List of issues [Australia] to be adopted during the 18th Session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (June 2017) [DOC] [PDF]

The submission is a proposed List of Issues to be adopted at the Committee’s 18th session (14th August to 1st September 2018), in respect to Australia’s compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Brief updates on Australia’s compliance with the Convention and suggested review questions are structured under each article of the Convention in this submission. Where space permits, references are made to previous concluding observations made by the Committee and other UN treaty monitoring bodies. Extensive explanatory notes are provided at the end of the document. Copyright WWDA & DPO Australia 2017.


Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) and Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia): Submission to the Review of Australia Fifth Periodic Report Under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (May 2017) [DOC] [PDF]

DPO Australia has worked with a coalition of Australian non-government organisations to prepare a report to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.  This report will assist the Committee to review Australia’s progress in achieving economic, social and cultural rights for people in Australia.  This review took place at the UN at the end of May 2017. Copyright DPO Australia 2017.


Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA): Human Rights Toolkit for Women and Girls with Disability, First Edition (December 2017) [PDF]  [DOC] 

Over two million women and girls with disability live in Australia – that’s approximately 20% of all women and girls. Like everyone else, we all have different lives and experiences. We also have different personal experiences of disability. As a group, however, women and girls with disability experience unfair treatment in many areas of our lives. We are treated unfairly because of our disability, because we are women, and, because society is structured for able-bodied people. WWDA has developed this toolkit to explore some of these key issues facing women and girls with disability and provide practical resources for leading change. The toolkit includes:

  • An introduction to, and overview of, key human rights issues facing women and girls with disability
  • A brief history of human rights and Australia’s human rights obligations
  • Understanding key articles from the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
  • Recommendations for change
  • Ideas and suggestions of ways women and girls with disability can get involved in working for change
  • Resources, including sample letters and talking points for talking to Government representatives about the issues important to women and girls with disability
  • Full copies of the text of the CRPD and CEDAW

Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA): Position Statement 1: The Right to Freedom from All Forms of Violence, First Edition (December 2017) [PDF] [DOC]

In this Position Statement on the Right to Freedom from all Forms of Violence, WWDA outlines key evidence concerning ongoing violations of Australian women and girls with disabilities’ right to freedom from all forms of violence. We highlight specific human rights obligations to ensure that all women and girls with disability can realise their right to freedom from all forms of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect. Ten recommendations are made in regard to improving the fulfilment of women and girls with disabilities’ right to freedom from all forms of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.


Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA): WWDA Position Statement 2: The Right to Decision-Making (December 2017) [PDF] [DOC]

In this Position Statement on the Right to Decision-Making, WWDA outlines key evidence concerning the exclusion of women and girls with disability from decision-making processes. We highlight specific human rights obligations to ensure that the decision-making rights of women and girls with disability are realised. Seven recommendations are made in regard to improving the fulfilment of women and girls with disabilities’ right to decision-making on an equal basis with others. Seven recommendations are made in regard to improving the fulfilment of women and girls with disabilities’ right to decision-making on an equal basis with others.


Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA): WWDA Position Statement 3: The Right to Participation (December 2017) [PDF] [DOC]

In this Position Statement on the Right to Participation, WWDA outlines key evidence concerning the exclusion of women and girls with disability from participation and decision-making processes. We highlight specific human rights obligations to ensure that the participatory rights of women and girls with disability are realised. Six recommendations are made in regard to improving the fulfilment of women and girls with disabilities’ right to participation on an equal basis with others.


Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA): Position Statement 4: Sexual and Reproductive Rights, First Edition (December 2017) [PDF] [DOC]

In this Position Statement on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, WWDA outlines key evidence concerning ongoing violations of the sexual and reproductive rights of Australian women and girls with disability. We highlight specific human rights obligations to ensure that the sexual and reproductive rights of all women and girls with disability are realised. Twelve recommendations are made in regard to improving the fulfilment of sexual and reproductive rights of women and girls with disability on an equal basis with others.


Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA): Human Rights Toolkit for Women and Girls with Disability: Video on Human Rights (Part 1) (December 2017) [Video]

In this video, Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) members talk about what human rights are and why they are important.


Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA): Human Rights Toolkit for Women and Girls with Disability: Video on Human Rights (Part 2) (December 2017) [Video]

This video is produced by Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) and is about violence and abuse against women and girls with disability.


Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA): Human Rights Toolkit for Women and Girls with Disability: Video on Decision-Making (December 2017) [Video]

In this video, Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) members talk about the human rights of all people to make decisions about their lives.


Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA): Human Rights Toolkit for Women and Girls with Disability: Video on Violence (December 2017) [Video]

In this video, Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) members talk about the fundamental human right to live free from all forms of violence.


Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA): Human Rights Toolkit for Women and Girls with Disability: Video on Parenting and Children (December 2017) [Video]

In this video, Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) members talk about why the right to parent and be supported to do so, is a fundamental human right for all women.


Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA): Human Rights Toolkit for Women and Girls with Disability: Video on Employment and Economic Empowerment (December 2017) [Video]

In this video, Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) members talk about the right to work and the importance of economic empowerment for all women, including women with disability.


Leanne Dowse, Carolyn Frohmader, and Aminath Didi: Chapter 20: Violence Against Disabled Women in the Global South: Working Locally, Acting Globally (November 2016) [Link]

WWDA contributed a chapter to this first-of-its kind volume, spanning the breadth of disability research and practice specifically focusing on the global South. Established and emerging scholars alongside advocates adopt a critical and interdisciplinary stance to probe, challenge and shift common held social understandings of disability in established discourses, epistemologies and practices, including those in prominent areas such as global health, disability studies and international development. Copyright 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA): National Forum for Women and Girls with Disability: Proceedings and Outcomes Report (November 2016) Full Report [PDF] [DOC]; Appendices [PDF] [DOC]

WWDA’s National Forum for Women and Girls with Disability was held in Melbourne on 6 April 2016, at the Medibank Head Office building in Docklands, Melbourne. The Forum was made possible through one-off Project funding from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Australian Department of Social Services, plus extensive in-kind support provided by Medibank and Medibank Health Solutions Telehealth Pty Ltd (MHS). The National Forum was held to support women and girls with disability from around Australia to identify the issues that affect them, identify solutions, prioritise actions, and engage actively and directly with representatives from the Australian Government on issues relevant to Australian women and girls with disability. Proceedings and outcomes from the Forum informed the development of WWDA’s five-year Strategic Plan and priorities for 2017 to 2021. Copyright WWDA 2016.


Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA): Report from Disability Arts and Cultural Network International Conference, Seoul, Korea (October 2016) [PDF] [DOC]

Written by Karin Swift, this report details Karin’s experience at the Disability Arts and Cultural Network International Conference, Seoul, Korea in October 2016. The key themes of the conference were: The human rights crisis of women and girls with disability; and, Opinions and experiences of promoting the rights of women and girls with disability utilising UN mechanisms. Copyright WWDA 2016.


Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA): Using a Holistic Human Rights Framework to Advance The Rights of Women and Girls with Disability: Presentation to Women With Disability Arts and Cultural Network International Conference, Seoul, Korea (October 2016). [PDF] [DOC] [PPT]

In October 2016, WWDA was invited to present at the Disability Arts and Cultural Network International (WWDACN) Conference in Seoul, Korea. With representatives from thirteen countries in attendance, the two day conference commemorated the 10th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD). The conference theme was ‘The promotion of the rights of women and girls with disability by [the] UN CRPD’. The paper outlines how WWDA uses a holistic human rights framework to advance the rights of all women and girls with disability. In the decade since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), WWDA has made significant inroads to advancing the rights and freedoms of women and girls with disability. Utilising a holistic human rights framework in all aspects of our work has enabled us to conduct groundbreaking and critically acclaimed programs which address a wide range of human rights issues for women and girls with disability. Copyright WWDA 2016.


Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA): Report from the Women’s Human Rights Education Institute (WHRI), Toronto, Canada (September 2016) [PDF] [DOC]

In early 2016, Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) Project Officer and WWDA Youth Network Manager, Cashelle Dunn, was selected as one of eighteen participants in the Women’s Human Rights Education Institute (WHRI) Intensive Program. During July 2016, Cashelle participated in a pre-intensive Online Learning Program for three weeks. From the 8th to 19th of August 2016, Cashelle attended two- weeks of intensive classes held at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, Canada. During the program all participants created Post- Intensive projects that aim to be implemented in the months after attending WHRI. All participants presented and discussed their proposed projects whilst in Toronto to lecturers and fellow participants. This report has been prepared to highlight Cashelle’s work and experiences during her participation both online and in Toronto. Copyright WWDA 2016.


Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA): Improving Service Responses for Women with Disability Experiencing Violence (August 2016) [PDF] [DOC]

Between January and August 2016 Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) conducted a six-month project to assess the adequacy and accessibility of 1800 RESPECT – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service for people living in Australia. In consultation with over 100 women and girls with disability from around Australia, the 1800 RESPECT: Improving Service Responses for Women with Disability Experiencing Violence project identified forty-three recommendations for making 1800 RESPECT more inclusive of, and responsive to, the needs of women and girls experiencing all forms of violence and abuse. The extensive report and the recommendations cover: (1) Future Directions: Whole of Government, (2) Service Conceptualisation, Model, Scope and Role, (3) Marketing and Communications, (4) Inclusive and Accessible Service Design, (5) Service Quality, Monitoring and Evaluation, (6) Referral and Response, (7) Data Collection and Use, (8) Collaboration and Innovation. Copyright WWDA 2016.


Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA): Opinion: Unfettered Ability – Cheryl McDonnell (July 2016[PDF] [DOC] [RTF]

In June 2016, SBS Television aired a program which focused on growth attenuation therapy (GAT) – the deliberate stunting of children with disability. In this opinion piece, Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) member, Cheryl McDonnell, writes about ‘The Ashley Treatment’ and its failure to respect even the most fundamental of human rights. Words copyright Cheryl McDonnell 2016. Layout copyright WWDA 2016.


Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA): Opinion: Bonsai Babies – Cheryl McDonnell (June 2016) [PDF] [DOC] [RTF]

In June 2016, SBS Television aired a program which focused on growth attenuation therapy (GAT) – the deliberate stunting of children with disability. In this opinion piece, Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) member, Cheryl McDonnell, writes about ‘The Ashley Treatment’ and its failure to respect even the most fundamental of human rights. Words copyright Cheryl McDonnell 2016. Layout copyright WWDA 2016.


Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) and Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA): Report on the Australian Youth with Disability National Forum: Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (February 2016) [PDF] [DOC]

In November 2015, the Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) in collaboration with the Women with Disabilities Australia Youth Network (WWDAYouth), and the Victorian Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS), hosted a national forum of young people with disability on the theme of sexual and reproductive rights. The Youth with Disability National Forum was held as part of an exciting and innovative global project being established by the United Nations, to improve the human rights of young people with disability worldwide – particularly their sexual and reproductive rights and their right to freedom from violence. Copyright ACDA 2016.