CRPD/C/GC/3

United Nations

Convention on the Rights
of Persons with Disabilities

Distr.: General
25 November 2016
Original: English

Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

General comment No. 3 (2016) on women and girls with
disabilities
1.
The present general comment was prepared by the Committee on the Rights of
Persons with Disabilities in accordance with rule 47 of its rules of procedure, which states
that the Committee may prepare general comments based on the various articles and
provisions of the Convention with a view to assisting States parties in fulfilling their
reporting obligations, and with paragraphs 54-57 of its working methods.
2.
There is strong evidence to show that women and girls with disabilities face barriers
in most areas of life. These barriers create situations of multiple and intersecting forms of
discrimination against women and girls with disabilities, in particular with regard to: equal
access to education, economic opportunities, social interaction and justice; equal
recognition before the law;1 and the ability to participate in politics and to exercise control
over their own lives across a range of contexts, for example with regard to health care,
including sexual and reproductive health services, and to where and with whom they wish
to live.

I. Introduction
3.
International and national laws and policies on disability have historically neglected
aspects related to women and girls with disabilities. In turn, laws and policies addressing
women have traditionally ignored disability. This invisibility has perpetuated the situation
of multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination against women and girls with
disabilities. 2 Women with disabilities are often discriminated against on the grounds of
gender and/or disability, and on other grounds as well.
4.

In the present general comment, the following terms are used:

(a)
disabilities;

“Women with disabilities” refers to all women, girls and adolescents with

(b)
“Sex” and “gender”, where “sex” refers to biological differences and
“gender” refers to the characteristics that a society or culture views as masculine or
feminine;
1
2

World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank, World Report on Disability (Geneva, 2011).
See www.un.org/womenwatch/enable.

GE.16-20871(E)

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