European Disability Forum
To understand the value of the Second Manifest it is essential to be clear that being women and disabled together exposes women with disabilities to the double disadvantage ( multiple discrimination ) of having fewer opportunities as women, and of having to face the barriers that preclude or they limit the enjoyment of rights and social participation as persons with disabilities.
When the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was approved, which also introduced a new paradigm based on the human rights of persons with disabilities at the regulatory level , it became evident that all policies, regulations, programmatic directives, and everything needed to define interventions aimed at people with disabilities should have been revised and modified in the light of the rights and principles set out in the UN Convention. And so it was that the EDF Women’s Committee also decided to rework the first “Manifest of Women with Disabilities” (which had been adopted by EDF itself in 1997), to harmonize it with the provisions of the UN Convention. If the Prime Manifest had the merit of drawing attention, in a very strong and clear way, to the condition of women with disabilities and the multiple discrimination to which they are subject, as well as to contribute to the establishment of a Permanent Committee of Women within the ‘EDF, the Second Manifest was able to grasp the numerous and explicit references to gender issues contained in the UN Convention, to transform them into an overall political proposal on disability for women .
The Second Manifest has no normative value, but has the inestimable political value that comes from having been personally developed by women with disabilities delegated by the respective countries of the European Union to represent the requests of people with disabilities within the EDF. If the UN Convention grants individuals with disabilities the role of protagonists in their own lives, its multiple references to gender issues suggest that the word of women with disabilities is the element to which greater weight is given in the definition of policies aimed at these last.
If we then consider that the UN Convention has a normative value for all the countries that have ratified it, it becomes clear that its application is not only the responsibility of those dealing with disabilities, but also of those dealing with it. of women at institutional, voluntary and, more generally, civil society level. They are required to include disability in all claims, planning, provisions, services, projects and any initiative involving women. Also in this perspective, the Second Manifest becomes an essential point of reference.