Bridging the Gap Project: Rome hosts the ‘Women and girls with disabilities’ event

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ROME, NOVEMBER 14TH- This year edition of the flagship European initiative Bridging the Gap Project (BtG), with a focus on ‘Women and girls with disabilities’, was launched today in Rome. The  event was organized by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), in collaboration with FIIAP (the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies) , the Spanish Cooperation, the Austrian Development Agency, IDDC (International Disability and Development Consortium), the European Disability Forum, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The goal of the event was to examine international and national policies, programs and experiences aimed at removing barriers to the economic and social empowerment of women and girls with disabilities, as well as the contribution made by the project through the promotion of affirmative action measures for their development, advancement and empowerment.

Ana Peláez Narváez, advocate for women with disabilities worldwide and first woman with a disability to be elected for the UN Committee of Elimination of Discrimination against Women, delivered a keynote speech by video message. In her address, Ana Lucia Arellano, President of the International Disability Alliance, remarked that “the need to empower women with disabilities is one of the most important challenges for sustainable development that needs to be addressed”.

“Bridging the Gap” is the flagship initiative of the European Union for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in development cooperation. The project aims at increasing the inclusion of persons with disabilities at both the international and country level, through more inclusive and accessible public policies and services, in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Sustainable Development Goals. Through its advocacy, events and projects, BtG contributes to the achievement of Goal 1, no poverty, Goal 2, zero hunger, Goal 10,  reduced inequalities, and Goal 16, peace, justice and strong institutions. All through the lenses of Goal 5, gender equality and mainstreaming.

The project is part of a more comprehensive path undertook by the Italian Cooperation towards the promotion of the rights of disabled persons, for which a participatory approach -in line with the UN Convention for the rights of persons with disabilities- was chosen. The aim is to supporti, through the development of government competences and the empowerment of Organizations for disabled persons, the establishment of the UN Convention in 5 Countries: Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Ecuador and Paraguay.  (SB@OnuItalia)