Málstofan er táknmáls- og rittúlkuð
Disability, Gender and Justice
Málstofustjóri: Rannveig Traustadóttir
This interdisciplinary symposium focuses on disability rights and access to justice in relation to disability. Many of the papers take a gendered perspective in addressing reproductive rights, family rights, rights to services, access to justice, and the right to live a life free from violence. Presenters are PhD students, academics and specialists from the fields of disability studies, anthropology and law.
Sjá ágrip erindanna hér fyrir neðan.
Divided Movements: How reproductive rights have unified and fractured the collective activism of the feminist and disability movements
By most accounts, feminism and disability rights in both theory and activism, are symbiotic. Founded on similar principles of choice, autonomy and control, as well as based on a critical analysis of the body, the disability rights and feminist movements have benefitted enormously from their intersecting theoretical and human rights activism. Despite such harmony in theory, feminists with disabilities have felt historically marginalized from the mainstream women’s movement, specifically around the reproductive rights issues of prenatal testing, abortion and fetal impairment. This has created growing divisions and mistrust between the movements. Taking this to a national context, this study aims to examine recent changes in reproductive rights legislation in Iceland and Ireland which have highlighted the tensions between national feminist and disability movements. Based on data collected through qualitative interviews with leading members from both groups, the paper will highlight areas of commonality and tension, and how these are reflected in national policy. It will also discuss how the recent legislative shifts in reproductive rights in Iceland and Ireland have reinforced perceived disability discrimination within reproductive rights policy while simultaneously, sparking anxiety amongst the feminist movement of potential advocacy towards curbing reproductive rights.
Lykilorð: Disability Movement, Feminist Movement, Reproductive rights
Maintaining Family Unity as Parents with Intellectual Disability: A Case Study
Introduction and purpose: Countless studies show that parents with Intellectual disability face more significant barriers in keeping and raising their children than most other parents. Disproportional child protection involvement and child removal not always based on poor parenting abilities, but rather discriminatory approaches have been reported worldwide. However, little is known about parents who have successfully maintained their family unity, and what surrounding factors enable them to thrive. The purpose of the study is to identify the aspects that have enabled parents with intellectual disability to preserve their family unity, looking both to individual characteristics and the context surrounding the family.
Method: This is a qualitative case study. Data was collected through in-depth interviews with parents with intellectual disabilities, their family members, support personnel and documents from social services.
Results: Preliminary findings suggest that the parents and their children are nested within web of capability enhancers enabling the parents to keep their family intact and overcome barriers. Strong family support, a cooperative and flexible support system, and advocates, such as right protection officers and lawyers are imperative along with certain individual traits of the parents to enable them to maintain their family unity.
Lykilorð: Parenting, Intellectual Disability, Family Unity
Human rights, child protection and structural violence
Custody deprivation is a serious application of bureaucratic and legal power. Such actions are generally intended to be reserved for cases in which there is a significant risk to the health, well-being and development of children. However, research demonstrates that vulnerable or marginalised parents are also at a higher risk of child protection interference than other members of society. Careful attention needs to be paid to how child protection investigations are conducted, information is collected and assessed, and supports are implemented in light of societally based prejudices and stereotypes concerning certain groups which has the power to influence the outcome of cases. Our presentation is based upon the combined knowledge derived from the first-hand experience as a legal professional (first author), and the findings from multiple research projects involving the assessment of child protection cases (second author). The analysis here is framed in the context of respecting the human rights of parents with disabilities but also within the context of structural violence; that is to say, how actions and practices within child protection investigations intended to be objective and professional nevertheless can result in outcomes which are structurally ‘violent’ for parents and their children.
Lykilorð: Disabled Parents, Custody Deprivation, Prejudice and Stereotypes
Violence and Disabled Women: Access to Justice
Even though it is framed as a human rights concern violence against disabled women remains largely invisible and rarely acted upon by authorities. Limited research has focused on access to justice for disabled women who have been subject to violence. There is little knowledge and understanding about the reporting and prosecution of violence against disabled women internationally and in both Iceland and UK, where the research presented here is carried out. The on-going research seeks to contribute to a new and holistic understanding of the lived experience of disabled women as well as those supporting them throughout detection, reporting and prosecuting violence. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the research will help to bridge the gap in knowledge between legal obligations, such as those embedded in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and how these rights materialize in the lives of those they are intended to affect, protect and empower. The presentation draws on the empirical data already collected which include qualitative interviews and document analysis. Focusing on one court case, the emerging findings on access to justice for disabled women will be discussed. This includes a focus on the meaning of ‘justice’ and what ‘justice’ entails for the disabled woman and for others involved with her case.
Lykilorð: Violence, Disabled women, Justice