19 May, 2020
May 19, 2020 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Faith Lemon, Program Director
Disability Rights Fund & Disability Rights Advocacy Fund
This month, the Committee on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) publicized its list of issues for the Malawian government in advance of Malawi’s review in fall of 2020. The list includes inquiries about the status of the following government actions:
harmonization of domestic laws and policies with the CRPD;
ratification of the African Disability Protocol (ADP);
mainstreaming of legislation and policies to eliminate multiple and intersectional discrimination against women and girls with disabilities, including gender-based violence, into national strategies;
involvement of women with disabilities in implementation and monitoring of their rights;
measures to remove derogatory references to persons with disabilities in the Penal Code;
measures to ensure inclusive access to justice, and to protect persons with albinism from abductions, killings and mutilations;
measures to address denial of reasonable accommodations; and
measures to raise awareness to combat harmful practices and deep-rooted cultural beliefs against persons with disabilities.
These inquiries were influenced by alternative reports submitted by Malawian organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs) and supported through funding and technical assistance from the Disability Rights Fund (DRF) and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund (DRAF).
Disabled Women in Africa (DIWA), also supported by the Humanity & Inclusion Making It Work project, headed a joint submission to the CRPD Committee based on their DRF-funded 2019 alternative report to the Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), highlighting issues for women and girls with disabilities. The CRPD report coalition led by DIWA included Disabled Women in Development (DIWODE), Human Rights for Women and Girls with Disabilities (HRWGDS), Malawi Union of the Blind (MUB), and Visual and Hearing Association of Malawi (VIHEMA) – all DRF/DRAF grantees – as well as the National Epilepsy Association (NEA) and the Malawi National Association of the Deaf (MANAD).
DRF and DRAF congratulate these DPO leaders for their dedication and advocacy to advance the rights of persons with disabilities in Malawi. While the CRPD Committee’s 23rd pre-sessional meetings were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DPO representatives participated in virtual meetings with the Chair of the UNCRPD Committee, Mr. Danlami Basharu. Their hard work will hold the Malawian government accountable for CRPD implementation, including during COVID-19 response and recovery.
Since 2014, DRF and DRAF have given 1.3 million USD in grants to 63 projects run by DPOs in Malawi. DRF donors include: U.K. aid from the U.K. government (DFID); Anonymous; the Foundation to Promote Open Society, part of the Open Society Foundations; the Ford Foundation; WE Trust; the Ansara Family Fund of the Boston Foundation; The Estelle Friedman Gervis Family Foundation; and Women Have Wings, a fund of Tides Foundation. DRAF is supported by AusAID, the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The views expressed in this communication do not necessarily reflect the official policies of any of our donors, or the governments they represent.
Download the Press Release (Word Version)