Seminar on Disabled Women
Vienna, 20-24 August 1990
Part 3 of 4
II. ORGANIZATION OF WORK AND ATTENDANCE
A. Opening of the Seminar
Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna and Head of the Centre for Social
Development and Humanitarian Affairs opened the seminar. In her statement, she emphasized
that the focus of the meeting was the identification of issues, resulting from the lack of
equality as women and as disabled people that had produced the present situation of
disabled women. She stated that the participants had to identify those issues through
analysis, and then find workable solutions. She said that the complex issue of changing
attitudes had to be addressed.
93. The Director of the Division for the Advancement of Women stated that the seminar
was the first United Nations meeting that had been convoked specifically to consider the
problems of disabled women and the contribution that disabled women could make to
development. She informed the participants that the seminar was co- sponsored by the
Standing Women's Committee of Disabled People's International in collaboration with the
Social Development Division and the Disabled Persons Unit.
The Director elaborated on the specific problems to be reviewed during the seminar and
the unique opportunity it provided to indicate the changes needed, the new laws and
regulations that needed to be developed, and the need for research, statistics and
studies. In addition, she emphasized that, although most studies of disability made no
distinction of issues by sex, situations of double discrimination against women could be
documented in a number of areas, such as education and training, health and employment.
She noted that the main purpose of the seminar was to determine the extent to which
disabled women are double discriminated against because of sex and disability, but in
doing so also to identify the problems specifically faced by disabled women compared to
disabled men and able women.
Ms. Anneli Joneken, Chairperson of the Standing Women's Committee of Disabled People's
International, stated that disabled women needed to be visible and their issues needed to
be heard and written about. She said that one of the aims of the seminar was to take part
in the important fact finding mission concerning women with disabilities and to put
together action-oriented recommendations.
Dr. Fatima Shah, former Chairperson of the Standing Women's Committee of Disabled
People's International, also addressed the meeting and stressed the need for national
level action. She indicated that the task of bringing disabled persons' issues to public
and government attention was tremendous.
B. Election of officers
The following officers were elected:
||Ms. Zohra Rajah
||Ms. Rosangela Berman Bieler
Ms. Fatima Shah
||Ms. Anneli Joneken
A list of participants is given in Annex 1 to the present report.
Documents issued for the Seminar are listed in Annex 2.
E. Adoption of the report
The report of the Seminar, including the recommendations of the working groups, was
adopted in plenary on Friday, 24 August 1990.