Disabilities Bring Diversity, Not Limitations

Statement by NOW President Christian F. Nunes   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United Nations declared December 3 as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities to promote the rights and well-being of the more than one billion people — or roughly 15 percent of the world’s population — who live with some type of disability.  

Today, NOW members recognize the estimated one in five women globally who experience physical, psychosocial, intellectual, and sensory impairments – including the 36 million women  in the United States. Our fight for equality purposefully includes disability rights, and we urge those in power to ensure inclusion for all.  

As intersectional feminists, we understand that people with disabilities often face discrimination based on their different needs alone. For women, this overlaps with discrimination based on gender. Then, women of color or those part of the LGBTQIA+ community can experience an added layer of prejudice, and the additional biases based on other traits can pile up quickly.  

These layers of discrimination, intertwined with a lack of physical accessibility, communication accommodations, or other inclusive efforts, often leave women with disabilities without options. When policies do not encourage inclusion, the resulting exclusion leads to lower education and employment opportunities that further marginalize women with disabilities and make them vulnerable to lower socioeconomic status or even poverty and abuse.  

We view disabilities as another form of diversity, not a limitation. With the right policies in place, changes needed to create a more inclusive environment for those with disabilities to thrive are within reach. As our efforts toward equality continue, we look forward to a future that fully includes, empowers and celebrates women with disabilities.

Contact: Press Team, press@now.org,