Global Resources

Women with disabilities

Publisher: The Inter-American Centre for Knowledge Development in Vocational Training
Publication Date: Jan 2012

Women with disabilities not only have to struggle against gender-based barriers, they also have additional challenges derived from their disabilities. This webpage on disabled women is part of the Inter-American Centre for Knowledge Development in Vocational Training’s on-line resource portal ‘Gender, training and work’. It explores the lives of women and girls with disabilities in developing countries (especially in rural areas) and industrialised nations (particularly in urban areas). One in four households in developing countries have a disabled family member, half of whom are women. Poverty is often the cause. Treatments for disabilities are typically available in industrialised countries – in the form of medical remedies, devices or other forms of assistance that facilitate disabled people participating in everyday activities, as well as work. Among the principles outlined for bettering the situation of women with disabilities are the following: collect gender disaggregated data that includes information on disabled women’s access to education, professional training and work opportunities; include the practical and strategic needs of women with disabilities and disabled dependants in gender-conscious planning; always consult with local, national and regional disabled women’s organisations; encourage labour unions and employer organisations to address problems related to disabled women workers and business owners in their organisations; and promote possibilities for disabled women to access professional training and employment. The Inter-American Centre for Knowledge Development in Vocational Training is a technical service of the International Labour Organization.