Madrid Conference on Women and Disability – an important step towards gender equality within the European disability movement

The EDF (European Disability Forum) and CERMI (Spanish National Disability Council) Conference on Women and Disability took place in Madrid on November 16-18, 2007.

With more than 150 participants, representing almost all EDF national councils (23 out of 27) and a large number of full and ordinary ENGOs, the EDF/CERMI conference on women and disability can be considered a success.

In order to get a better background knowledge on how members of all EDF member organizations experienced the situation of women and girls in their national council or European NGO and in their country, all participants had been asked prior to the conference to provide a report on the situation of women and disabilities in their organization. This background information contributed significantly to the very fruitful discussions which took place during the conference on how to improve the situation of women with disabilities and mothers of girls and boys with disabilities within the EDF structure and within our own countries. 34 reports were sent to the EDF secretariat, constituting a unique collection of information on the situation of women with disabilities.

Several speeches were given during the Friday sessions reflecting different perspectives of the situation of women and disabilities.

Saturday was devoted to work in four different workshops. All workshops were introduced by a speech and thereafter a facilitator was leading the discussions with the active participation of the delegates.

A declaration was drafted based on the conclusions of the workshops and was adopted on the Sunday morning. This declaration will shortly be presented to the EDF decision-making bodies as a proposal for an official EDF declaration.

The declaration, speeches and all reports from organisations will soon be downloadable directly from the EDF website.

This material will also be included in the conference publication which will be published in the beginning of 2008.

Source: European Disability Forum


FIMITIC was represented at the Madrid Conference by Margit Nász from the Hungarian member association MEOSZ (National Federation of Associations of Disabled Persons in Hungary).

An active contribution on the spot was done on the situation of Women with disabilities in Hungary.

The extensive written FIMITIC report on the structure and work of its Expert Committee on Women and Disability was submitted as well as a paper by Elisabeth Szöllösi, the Hungarian co-ordinator of the FIMITIC Women Expert Committee, on the situation of Women and Disability in the Central and Eastern European countries.