“Invisible Women: Tackling a Double Challenge”: Being a woman and being disabled

“Invisible Women: Tackling a Double Challenge”
Being a woman and being disabled

Verdala Palace on 12th October 2016 from 8.30am to 12.30pm

8.30 Registration

9.00 Welcome by Lorraine Spiteri, Chairperson – MCWO and Oliver Scicluna, Commissioner – CRPD

9.10 Opening Speech by HE The President of Malta

9.30 First Panel
Moderator : Ms Renee Laiviera, Commissioner and Acting Executive Director – NCPE
Rapporteur : Ms Jessica Schembri

Theme Speaker
LGBTI Dr. Claire Azzopardi Lane – Lecturer, Department of Disability Studies, Faculty of Social Wellbeing, University of Malta 
Sexuality Mr. Michael Debattista – Assistant Manager (Projects and Research), CRPD
Domestic Violence Dr. Marceline Naudi – Senior Lecturer, Department of Gender Studies, University of Malta

10.15 Reactions from the floor

10.30 Coffee Break

11.00 Second Panel

Moderator : Dr Charlotte Camilleri – Malta Employers Association

Rapporteur : Ms Elizabeth Camilleri Fava

Theme Speaker
Work &Women Ms. Olivia Farrugia – Head Of Division, Inclusive Employment Services, Jobsplus
Entrepreneurship Ms. Doris Sammut Bonnici – President,
Malta Association of Women in Business
Women in DecisionMaking Positions Ms. Solange Bonello – Feminist/Disability rights activist, Young Feminist Leaders

11.45 Reactions from the floor

12.00 Speech by the Hon Robert Cutajar – Opposition Spokesperson for Family Affairs,
Children’s Rights, Elderly and Persons with Disability

12.10 Closing speech by the Hon Justyne Caruana – Parliamentary Secretary for the Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Aging

Background information

This conference is being organised by the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) in collaboration with the Malta Confederation of Women’s Organisations (MCWO).

The aim of this Conference is to promote the empowerment of women with disability to enable them participate in all sectors of society and enjoy their fundamental human rights. In spite of equality legislation in place, women today still face barriers to achieve their full participation in public and private lives, and women with disabilities face even more discrimination, hence “the Double Challenge”.

Women with disabilities are made even more invisible in society. We don’t often hear about the issues women with disabilities face everyday such as domestic violence, the lack of information about sexual health care or birth control, and issues related to mental health which are different to those affecting men. Often women with disabilities are denied of their right to a have a sexual life or enjoy their own sexual orientation. The lack of visibility hinders women with disabilities to exercise their rights and to become self-sufficient through decent employment and through entrepreneurship. Decision-making positions are still very elusive for women with disabilities.

The objective of this conference is to give recognition to the issues that hundreds of women with disabilities in Malta experience and to increase their visibility so that their concerns are addressed and their voices are heard.

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