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Women’s Refugee Commission’s Statement on the Launch of the new Inter-Agency Standing Committee Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action

On behalf of the Women’s Refugee Commission, we warmly congratulate everyone involved on the launch of the Guidelines after three years of extensive consultations.

The Women’s Refugee Commission is proud to have worked with other stakeholders, including organizations of women with disabilities, to integrate gender and address gender-based violence throughout the Guidelines. We have also provided technical support to three pilot partners in Jordan, Uganda, and Sri Lanka.

Due to the intersection of gender and disability, women and girls with disabilities may experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that can limit their participation. During conflicts, the loss of community support and protection mechanisms exacerbates the risk of violence against women and girls with disabilities and hinders their access to critical services, including sexual and reproductive health care.

We call on the international community to scale up their support to women-led organizations of persons with disabilities and are looking forward to working together on bringing the Guidelines to life.

To close with a quote by Nujeen Mustafa, a former refugee, disability rights advocate, and herself a young woman with a disability: “We know best what risks we face and what we need, so ask for our input, involve us in aid planning, reach out to us to report on the challenges we face.”

Thank you.