The submission highlights the importance of an intersectional analysis that recognizes the ableist, sexist and patriarchal systems,structures and institutions that define productivity and dependency. Changes to these systems, structures and institutions will contribute to the realization of bodily autonomy, where persons with disabilities, and especially women with disabilities,have the ability to make and exercise choices not limited by oppression,discrimination, stigma, coercion, violence, lack of opportunities or possible consequences.
This is the moment to radically reimagine our systems and institutions so that they serve the people. The pandemic has shown that when states choose to, they can act swiftly to implement policies and spend resources that would have been unthinkable two years ago. At the Human Rights Council, we must recognize this moment for what it is -a chance to breathe new and transformative life into the human rights system and everything that it is supposed to stand for.
We suggest the Committee develops an intersectional analysis that recognizes the ableist, racist, classist, sexist and patriarchal systems, structures and institutions that define “productivity” and “dependency," gateways to the world of work. The Committee must not fall into the trap of reinforcing patriarchal, racist, ableist and classist social and moral values into the concept of work by relying on the traditional views of labour, productivity and dependency.
Instead, the Committee should directly debunk them by recognizing that work is not necessary or equivalent to dignity and worth. These “values” are tied to the idea of normalcy and must be challenged, including by opening paths for dignity outside of the right to work; this is the right not to work and still have material conditions to live and enjoy life.
This submission first suggests that the Committee should develop an intersectional analysis that recognizes the ableist, sexist and patriarchal systems, structures and institutions that define productivity and dependency. Secondly, it highlights how the full enjoyment of sexual and reproductive rights, broadly understood, redistributes resources, legitimacy, and power, therefore conditioning access to and keeping work. In reciprocity, access to work mediates the exercise of sexual and reproductive rights. The submission concludes by suggesting recommendations for structural changes to accessing work, health, education, and social protection systems.