Mobility International USA is pleased to announce that MIUSA CEO, Susan Sygall, was selected to be part of the U.S. Delegation to attend the 59th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on March 9–20, 2015, at UN Headquarters in New York.
“I am honored to be part of the delegation to attend this important conference. I am passionate about ensuring the inclusion of girls and women with disabilities in all actions and initiatives.” – Susan Sygall, CEO & Co-founder, Mobility International USA (MIUSA)
The main focus of the session was on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, including current challenges that affect its implementation and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The Commission undertook a review of progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, 20 years after its adoption at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995.
The 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing was a historic event that ignited the international disabled women's movement. It provided unexpected opportunities for women with disabilities to build international, cross-disability solidarity and a platform from which to demand their rightful place in the international women's movement.
As part of the NGO Forum, MIUSA organized a symposium on women with disabilities. Restricted by impassable pathways, inaccessible venues and lack of accessible materials or means of communication, nearly 300 women with disabilities gathered together, channeling anger and frustration into strategies and solutions. They discussed critical development issues such as income generation, reproductive rights, parenting, leadership and policy development.
On the third day of the Forum, disabled women convened a spontaneous demonstration on the steps of an inaccessible workshop building, capturing international press coverage and drawing the attention of the global community to women with disabilities as a vocal and visible force at the UN World Conference on Women.
With a unified voice, women with disabilities successfully articulated their needs and issues to the world. In particular, they demanded more opportunities to develop leadership skills and to create more networking opportunities for women with disabilities. In response to this request, MIUSA made a commitment to create a space for uniting women leaders with disabilities from every region of the world. MIUSA's signature women's leadership training, the Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD), is a direct outcome of the Beijing Conference.