Top of page

Meeting focuses on human rights and a gender equality angle to disability

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) brought together in Colombo, Sri Lanka,  experts from the fields of medicine and sociology for a panel discussion today, as part of the 9th International Conference on Birth Defects and Disabilities in the Developing World, Colombo Gazette reports.

People with disabilities are amongst the most marginalised groups when it comes to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services. Even when health services are physically accessible, women and young people with disabilities may face financial, social, and psychological barriers to accessing adequate SRH services. However, persons with disabilities have a greater need for comprehensive sexuality education and care than persons without disabilities due to their increased vulnerability.

Delivering the welcome remarks, UNFPA Representative in Sri Lanka, Ms. Ritsu Nacken, said, “One billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability. In order to achieve the SDGs, we need to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal access to services, including SRH services, and are able to exercise their rights fully. They must be active agents of change and part of our collective journey towards an inclusive, just and sustainable society.”