Water for Women joins call to stop underestimating people with disabilities

Posted on Friday November 30, 2018

International Day of People with Disabilities is celebrated globally on 3rd December. Water for Women is joining organisations around Australia and the world to call for an end to the attitudes and misconceptions that prevent people with disabilities, especially those in developing countries, from reaching their full potential.

‘More than 1 billion people around the world have a disability. Attitudes, misconceptions, and incorrect beliefs continue to be some of the biggest barriers faced by people with disabilities,’ said Dr Alison Baker, Water for Women Fund Manager.  

‘People with disabilities also have abilities and aspirations. It’s time we stopped underestimating their ability. We need to be providing the support and opportunities to people with disabilities that enable them to succeed and to contribute in line with those aspirations. All our communities will be richer and stronger as a result. ‘

Water for Women and our partners have committed to ensuring that people with disabilities are empowered and have a voice in decision making when it comes to sustainable, safely managed water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) access for all people within the many communities we are operating, not just the lucky few.

‘There are many challenges in changing attitudes at both an institutional and community level and our Civil Society Organisation (CSO) partners are working towards addressing these challenges in their projects,’ said Jose Mott, Water for Women Gender and Social Inclusion Specialist.  ‘Developing strong relationships with local disability organisations, which support the empowerment of people with a disability is key to making this happen.’

Water for Women is also raising awareness of the issue by sharing CBM Australia’s new video Don’t Underestimate Me which features people with disabilities from around the world telling powerful stories of how they’re challenging stereotypes and misconceptions and defying low expectations.

CBM is an international development organisation devoted to improving the lives of people with disabilities in the poorest places on earth. Their vision is an inclusive world in which all people with disabilities enjoy their human rights and achieve their full potential. CBM is an advisory partner to the Water for Women Fund.

Water for Women is partnering with 10 CSOs, delivering 19 WASH projects in 16 countries in the Asia Pacific region. Gender equality and social inclusion are central to Water for Women. Actively involving all people within communities (women, men, marginalised groups, people with disabilities) ensures more equitable and inclusive processes, which lead to more effective and sustainable outcomes in WASH.  Water for Women is the Australian Government’s flagship WASH program and will be delivered as part of Australia's aid program, investing 110.6 Million over five years from 2018 to 2022. 

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