Gender & Victim Assistance

The Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) in its Preamble emphasizes “the need to incorporate a gender perspective in all efforts to promote the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by person with disabilities.” The General principles call for and non-discrimination, equality of opportunity and equality between men and women. Article 6 of the Convention is concerned with the rights of women with disabilities.

The Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, provides a background to some key rights issues.

The  Mine Ban Treaty as the first multilateral disarmament treaty to include victim assistance; the Nairobi Action Plan, (NAP)  2005-2009, which defines “victims” as including the families and communities as well as survivors; The Cartagena Action Plan, (CAP) 2010-2014,  in which States Parties declared that they are “resolved to provide adequate age-and gender-sensitive assistance to mine victims”. Actions #25, #29, #30, #31 of the CAP include gender considerations.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), The CCM preamble  states “the need to provide age and gender-sensitive assistance to cluster munition victims and to address the special needs of vulnerable groups” the Convention and it’s  Vientiane Action Plan (VAP) 2011-2015 includes concrete, time bound actions including gender perspectives.

PeaceWomen, landmines reports: While women actually account for a smaller percentage of death by landmines than men, when women are victims and suffer from disabilities caused by landmines, they are often mistreated and have less access to prosthetics and other healthcare needs to treat their wounds than men. They also are often times left by their husbands by divorce or abandonment. Landmines also have a long-term negative social and psychological impacts on women. United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 highlights the great need for gender perspectives on the issue of landmines.

The Gender and Mine Action Programme (GMAP) published a selection of documents and international law wich address the human rights of women, the need for gender sensitive victim assistance to landmine and to ensure the rights of women with disabilities. See also, GMAP, Female Landmine/ERW Survivors & Women With Disabilities Issues, Recommendations and Legal Framework:

“In most mine affected countries, the majority of civilian landmine/ERW direct victims are boys and men, but their accidents also have deep impacts on their families and communities, who become indirect victims. If the male victim was the breadwinner of the family, the females in the household will often take on responsibilities for the family’s income and also care for the victim, in addition to their previous tasks. When females are the direct victims, the gender inequalities prevalent in many societies may limit their access to services, reintegration and compensation. In some countries, female survivors who have been impaired by a landmine/ERW incident may even be abandoned by their spouses and/or families. In most cases female survivors and women with disabilities face double discrimination.”

Gender-sensitive Victim AssistanceArianna Calza Bini and Åsa Massleber,  GMAP, in The Journal of ERW and Mine Action, Issue 15.2 2011

Impact of Mines/ERW on Women and Children, Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor– Factsheet