World Autism Awareness Day 2018 Focuses On Empowering Women And Girls With Autism
World Autism Awareness Day 2018 focuses on addressing issues regarding empowerment of women and girls with autism.
World Autism Awareness Day 2018: Women and girls with autism face gender-based discrimination
- April 2 is observed as World Autism Awareness Day across the world
- They day focuses on providing equal opportunities to people with autism
- Early signs of autism may appear at the ages of 2 or 3
April 2 is observed as World Autism Awareness Day across the world. It was in November of 2017 that the United Nations General Assembly took a resolution to draw attention towards the challenges faced by women and girls with disabilities. These challenges were in the context of implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The resolution was taken in order to express concern that women and girls with disabilities face intersecting and multiple forms of discrimination. This discrimination has resulted in limiting their enjoyment of all fundamental freedoms and human rights.
Autism, also referred to as autism spectrum disorder refers to a situation where a person experiences challenges in social skills, has certain repetitive behaviours, challenges in speech and non-verbal communication and other strengths and differences which are quite unique in nature. There are many types of autism, each occurring because of different combinations of environmental and genetic influences.
In autism spectrum disorder, the term spectrum refers to wide range of challenges and strengths that each person with autism has.
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Early signs of autism appear at the ages of 2 or 3. Some cases are diagnosed at 18 months as well. Developmental delays that are associated with autism can be identified and addressed earlier than 18 months as well.
World Autism Awareness Day 2018 theme
As part of World Autism Awareness Day 2018, the United Nations Headquarters New York focuses on the relevance of empowering women and girls with autism. On this World Autism Awareness Day, the theme is to involve women and girls with autism and the organisations that they are associated with - in the process of making policies and taking decisions to address their challenges.
When it comes to girls with disabilities, they usually do not complete primary school education. It is more likely that they end up being marginalised and denied access to education thereafter. Similarly, women with disabilities are more likely to have rate of employment lower than the employment rate of men with disabilities and women without disabilities.
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Globally, women with disabilities experience more violence physically, sexually, psychologically and economically than men with disabilities. Also, both women and girls with disabilities face gender-based violence at higher rates in unique forms. This gender-based violence is majorly because of discrimination and stigma based on gender and disability.
This discrimination has resulted in inaccessibility and stereotyping for women and girls with disabilities. It has made them face barriers in accessing sexual and reproductive health services. They also face barriers in accessing information regarding sex education. This is especially in case of women and girls with intellectual disabilities and autism.
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On World Autism Awareness Day, efforts are made to have dynamic and moderated discussions along with experts and advocates. These discussions will scrutinise the challenges faced by women and girls with autism in the aforementioned context. The discussions will also address other important issues such as challenges and opportunities in exercising rights in matters like marriage, family and parenthood. The discussion will focus on ways to provide opportunities on these matters on the basis of equality with others. Protocol mentioned in in Article 23 of the CRPD and in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders at the United Nations in 2015 (SDG 5.6) will be met as well.