Promoting Full and Equal Participation for Women and Girls Living with Disabilities

Project name: Support to the Pacific Community Regional Rights Resource Team
Outcome area: Ending violence against women
Project partner: Pacific Community Regional Rights Resource Team (SPC RRRT)
Total funding: $3,000,000*
Funding timeframe: 2015–2017

Discrimination can be twofold for women and girls living with disabilities. They can experience unequal treatment because of their gender and also because of their disability. In FSM, Pacific Women is supporting the government’s efforts to protect the rights of women and girls living with disabilities through legislation.

Stakeholders during a CRPD consultation. Resolutions from these consultations will inform the FSM Congress about CRPD ratification. Photo: SPC RRRT.


SPC RRRT undertakes activities that build a culture of human rights in the Pacific and assist nation states to commit to, and observe, international human rights standards.

Funded jointly by Pacific Women and the European Union, SPC RRRT has supported efforts towards FSM’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

FSM signed the CRPD in 2011. Since then, SPC RRRT has been working closely with the FSM Disabled Persons Organisation and the Pohnpei Consumer Organisation to lobby and conduct consultations with the four state governments of FSM.

Each of these states has now passed a CRPD ratification resolution. Mr Nelbert Perez, President of the Pohnpei Consumer Organisation highlights the importance of this step: ‘The ratification of the CRPD allows our governments to take stock of provisions to safeguard rights and identify gaps in order to allow persons with disabilities access to the same opportunities as everyone else.’

To support the FSM Congress with the final stage of ratification1, SPC RRRT has assisted with the development of the congressional resolution, creation of radio awareness materials on the CRPD and planning of a CRPD stakeholder consultation, including looking at the challenges faced by women living with disabilities. Outcome statements from the stakeholder consultation will provide in depth information for the members of the FSM Congress about CRPD ratification.

Additionally, SPC RRRT has worked at state level to encourage functional family protection legislation to promote gender equality more broadly. In Pohnpei, SPC RRRT provided expert review and feedback on the draft Pohnpei Family Protection Bill. In Kosrae, SPC RRRT held a workshop with the Kosrae Women’s Association that raised awareness of the protections offered to women and children under the Kosrae Family Protection Act.

This Story of Change was originally published in the Pacific Women Annual Progress Report 2015-2016. All values are consisted with that reporting period. For the most up-to-date value of activities, visit our interactive map.
*This activity is part of a larger program.

1At the fourth regular session of the 19th Congress Sitting of the FSM Congress in September 2016, the FSM Congress agreed to ratify the CRPD and have since requested technical assistance from SPC RRRT to develop a CRPD domestication and implementation plan, with work to begin in November 2016. At the time of writing, the congressional ratification is awaiting signature.