Stephanie Ortoleva
Publications & Presentations

Presentations by Stephanie Ortoleva

  • Accountability—Responding to Disabled Women’s Needs, Disasters & Humanitarian Crises | Jan 2016

WEI President Stephanie Ortoleva was an invited expert to the Expert Group Meeting Women with Disabilities - Development & Society Santiago de Chile 11-2016 The Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) of DESA co-organized with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC) in Santiago de Chile, Chile, an Expert Group Meeting under the theme “Advancing the rights and perspectives of women and girls with disabilities in development and society” from 15-17 November 2016. The meeting included experts from around the world including those with experience in: disability, women’s rights, gender equality and empowerment of women, social and economic development, and research.

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  • The Responsibility of Corporations for Disability Equity | May 2011

Corporate social responsibility (CRS) is rarely discussed in the disability rights movement and those rights are rarely included in dialog on CSR. There is great potential for corporations in contributing to the well-being, employment, inclusion, mainstreaming, and full participation of persons with disabilities in society. CSR and disability issues should be part of international human rights. Co-presented with Marc Brenman.

Read a transcript of the presentation (PDF)

  • Advancing Disability Rights Through Strategic Human Rights Reporting: Fostering Disability Rights Organizations Participation in the UN Universal Periodic Review Procedures | April 2010

A presentation from the Pacific Rim International Conference on Disabilities, held April 12 and 13, 2010, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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Articles, Blog Posts, Books, and Papers by Stephanie Ortoleva

  • (contributed chapter to) Disability, Gender and the Trajectories of Power | May 2015

This book argues for the rights of women with disabilities, who live on the periphery of society, and seeks to eradicate the exclusion and stigma that are part of their lives. It brings together the perspectives of academicians and activists in trying to understand the various social issues faced by women with disabilities and argues for a society where they are not denied respect, equality, and justice. Filling the gap in the existing feminist research, this book seeks to influence the way in which society treats women with disabilities and will be of interest to scholars and researchers in the field of women's rights, disability rights, and rehabilitation. Book available on Amazon

  • Advancing Disability Rights Through Strategic Human Rights Reporting: Fostering Disability Rights Organizations Participation in the UN Universal Periodic Review Procedures
    Women Enabled International (Nov 2014)

Advancing Disability Rights Through Strategic Human Rights Reporting-Fostering DPO Participation in UPR (PDF)

Download accessible Word doc: Advancing Disability Rights Through Strategic Human Rights Reporting-Fostering DPO Participation in UPR

  • International Day of the Girl Child: Who's Missing?
    World Justice Project (Oct 2013)

The United Nations has designated October 11 as International Day of the Girl, with a focus on Education. But as I read many well-written and strong feminist posts on this issue, the concerns of millions of girls with disabilities are missing from the dialog. Who are the missing girls? The deaf girl in India who attends a school for deaf children and who was raped by her teachers. The blind girl in the United States who wants to be a scientist, but is not permitted to take the classes and who is told a blind person can't be a scientist, especially not a blind girl. The girl with a disability in Pakistan whose parents keep her at home and will not even let her attend school because they are ashamed. These are only a few of the untold stories. But the statistics about education of girls with disabilities tells us even more starkly.

International Day of the Girl Child (PDF)

Download accessible Word doc: International Day of the Girl Child

  • The Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities
    ICPD Beyond 2014 ● International Conference on Human Rights (July 2013)

This significant Briefing Paper was prepared for the 2013 ICPD Human Rights Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health (part of the 20-year review of the International Conference on Population and Development,) sponsored by OHCHR, UNFPA and the Government of the Netherlands. It explores these issues from the human rights perspective, provides references to the findings of international human rights bodies and mechanisms, and provides details on specific human rights issues which have a significant impact on the lives of women and girls with disabilities and which violate their core human rights.

Read the Briefing Paper (PDF)

Download accessible Word doc: The Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities

  • Yes! Women and Girls with Disabilities Do Math: We are the Keys to Our Future and Our Rights!
    World Justice Project (May 2013)

In this World Justice Project blog post, Stephanie draws on her keynote presentation at the Pacific rim conference at the University of Hawaii and discusses the urgent need to advance the education and employment of women and girls with disabilities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), stressing that this is not only important for women and girls with disabilities and for society as a whole. She then explores the mixed promises of technology for women and girls with disabilities and compares this to the promises made to women about the liberating effects of technology in the 20th Century—some promises not kept.

Read the blog post online (external link)

  • CSW57 and Women with Disabilities
    U.S. International Council on Disabilities (April 2013)

In this USICD blog post, Stephanie Ortoleva writes about her work at CSW57 and violence against women with disabilities.

Read the archived blog post (PDF)

  • Disabilities at the UN Commission on the Status of Women 57th Session
    Diplomatic Courier (March/April 2013)

Every year around International Women's Day, hundreds of women and allies from around the world gather in New York for the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). Unfortunately, not all women are as welcome as others. For many years, women with disabilities who want to engage at CSW—women who want their experiences respected, their contributions valued, and most of all, their rights reflected in the resolutions and Final Conclusions—have struggled with this experience. Despite the implications for millions of women and girls with disabilities and their families, issues concerning them receive only limited coverage, if any, in influential official research and other preparations for CSW. There is scant inclusion in side events, other than those few organized by women with disabilities themselves. CSW can contribute to a more inclusive and effective awareness of discrimination against all women by welcoming women with disabilities to the table. The article discusses the nature, scope, causes and consequences of violence against women and girls with disabilities and outlines the strategies used by women with disabilities to ensure inclusion in the discussions and outcomes of CSW57, where the priority theme is violence against women.

Read article online (external link)

  • Women with Disabilities and the Justice System: Rights without Remedies
    World Justice Project (Feb 2013)

Drawing on her extensive work to prevent and eliminate violence against women with disabilities as well as her research on access to justice, in this World Justice Project blog post, Stephanie discusses the various barriers the justice system imposes on women with disabilities when they seek to vindicate their rights and she explores some examples of the ramifications of this denial of access to justice on their lives.

Read blog post online (external link)

  • Forgotten SistersA Report on Violence Against Women with Disabilities: An Overview of its Nature, Scope, Causes and Consequences
    SSRN (Aug 2012)

Because women with disabilities make up a significant part of the world’s population, principles of fairness and equality require that the world engage in a vigorous discussion on how to end violence against them. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank (WB), more than one billion people (approximately 15% of the world’s population) live with some form of disability.

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Read full report (PDF)

Download full report via the Social Science Research Network

  • Who’s Missing? Women with Disabilities In U.N. Security Council resolution 1325 National Action Plans
    18 ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. 395 (Spring 2012)

Despite progress made through a series of United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR), beginning with the groundbreaking UNSCR 1325 in 2000,1 to give women a place at the table in post-conflict peace building and reconciliation, women with disabilities are missing and ignored and have not had a role in these processes. Women with disabilities are excluded both in practice and formally, through the various United Nations resolutions and policy documents, including the UNSCR 1325 Indicators and the UNSCR 1325 National Action Plans, each country is to prepare. In Stephanie Ortoleva’s law review article, she reviews some of these plans to ascertain if women with disabilities are included, and also sets forth factors that may explain this exclusion, and describes guidelines for the inclusion of women with disabilities in such plans.

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  • Submission for the CEDAW Committee’s General Discussion on a Proposed CEDAW General Recommendation on women in conflict and post-conflict situations, presenting legal arguments and recommendations for the inclusion of women and girls with disabilities
    July 18, 2011

Read the submission (PDF)

  • Recommendation for Action to Advance the Rights of Women and Girls with Disabilities in the United Nations System
    Open Letter to the UN Under-Secretary-General for UN Women (April 2011)

Read the letter (PDF)

  • Right Now! - Women with Disabilities Build Peace Post-Conflict
    Barbara Faye Waxman Fiduccia Papers on Women and Girls with Disabilities, Center for Women Policy Studies (April 2011)

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  • Inaccessible Justice: Human Rights, Persons with Disabilities and the Legal System
    17 ILSA J. Int'l & Comp. L. 281 (Spring 2011)

This law review article focuses on the important concept of access to justice and what it means to persons with disabilities. It also addresses how the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) provides for awareness of the requirements to provide access to justice for persons with disabilities.

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  • The Forgotten Peace Builders: Women with Disabilities
    Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review, 33 Loy. L.A. Int’l & Comp. L.Rev. 83 (2010)

Women across the world are standing their ground against political exclusion, but more must be done to ensure that a gender-sensitive approach is used, that all women have the opportunity to participate in building the rule of law and strengthening democracy, and that all women have a voice in decision-making processes post-conflict.

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