COSP 17 advocacy

COSP 17 advocacy

Our founder and executive director, Nidhi Ashok Goyal attended the seventeenth session of Conference of States Parties (COSP17) to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities from 11 to 13 June 2024 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The Conference had an overarching theme of Rethinking disability inclusion in the current international juncture and ahead of the Summit of the Future. Members, civil society, disability rights advocates from across the globe were in New York.

Strategy meeting

Alongside the main sessions at COP17, many civil society initiatives, official side events, strategy meetings were conducted. Women Enabled International organised a day long strategy meeting inviting advocates from around the globe working at the intersection of gender and disability. The meeting focussed on what feminist disabled leadership looks like in practice and experts strategised key actions to ensure that the future of disability rights is feminist. The meeting also focussed on the current socio, geopolitical environment, its repercussions on rights especially disability rights globally.

Several disability activists and advocates are sitting down in a meeting room before COSP17

Side event: The Future of Disability Rights is Feminist

Additionally, Nidhi was also part of a high level side event at CoSP. The event was co organised by Women Enabled International, CRPD committee, UN Women and others titled: “The future of disability rights is feminist”. The event focussed on important and strategic conversations about how disability rights and justice movements can transform to better respect, protect, and fulfill the rights enshrined in the CRPD. The panellists spoke about the major issues facing the world today—anti-rights trends, rising authoritarian regimes, conflicts, and natural disasters—disproportionately impact persons with disabilities, especially women, girls, and gender-diverse people with disabilities.The conversation spanned from the future of disability rights, reimagining the disability rights movement, how to bring disability justice principles like mutual aid, collective care, and cross-movement collaboration and solidarity into our work, and the concrete steps that the disability rights movement can do to elevate the leadership of women, girls, and gender diverse people with disabilities.

There was a clarion call for a feminist approach that prioritises the most marginalised voices and closely collaborates with other human rights movements.

Nidhi  emphasised the need for realising feminist principles of sharing of power, intersectionality and cross-movement collaboration. She reiterated that these principles must be imbibed- individually, collectively and organisationally.

You can listen to the full panel here.

Photo of panelists at the future of disability rights is feminist. From left to right: Estefanía Cubillos, Nidhi Goyal, Maryangel García-Ramos, Daniela Torrijos, Oluwatobi Odugunwa, Miyeon Kim, and Pamela Leal.

Statements at COSP

As part of the efforts in advocating for a better, more equitable response from governments, a joint statement was delivered on behalf of Women Enabled, Transforming Communities for Inclusion, Rising Flame, National Indigenous Disabled Women Association Nepal, Women Gaining Ground, Women Spaces Africa and Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network. You can listen to the full statement here.

A joint statement Promoting the rights of persons with disabilities to decent work and sustainable livelihood was released by Women Gaining Ground Consortium, Women Enabled International, WDDF, Sruti Disability Center and National Indigenous Disabled Women Association Nepal. Rising Flame endorsed this statement - you can read the full statement here.