Ashrafun Nahar
We have such potential which proves women with disabilities are active citizens whose contribution to society should not be underestimated. As fellow human beings, women and girls with disabilities have equal dignity. Though society, and in some instances even family, are still not prepared to give you the same respect, we deserve prosperity like anyone else.
Ashrafun Nahar



Short Biography

Ashrafun “Misti” Nahar is the founder of the Women with Disabilities Development Foundation (WDDF) in Bangladesh, as well as a member of international organisations Asia Pacific Women with Disabilities United (APWWDU) and the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID).
Troubled by the gap in services available to women with disabilities, Misti concluded that they needed their own platform for defending their rights. So began the WDDF, which aims to give women with disabilities a voice, and to create equal opportunities in education, employment and most significantly domestic policy-making. The WDDF also works closely with other women’s organisations in Bangladesh, which often overlook the unique needs of women with disabilities. Many of them are growing increasingly sensitive to the particular needs of women with disabilities through their collaboration with WDDF.
Ashrafun’s personal mission, herself a woman with a physical disability who has suffered marginalisation, is to ensure Bangladesh is a country where women with disabilities can live in a barrier-free society with full dignity. Her hope is that by advocating for disability rights and establishing strong connections with Government, discrimination will be eradicated.

Zero Project Conference 2019
Chair at the Session on: Supporting the rights of women with disabilities
Session Description: This session introduces innovations with a focus on strengthening and promoting the rights of women with disabilities. 
Examples include training on sexual and reproductive rights, trauma-informed housing models, and leadership programmes.

Reason for winning

I recommend Ashrafun Nahal from Bangladesh for the category “Rights”, because of the work she is doing both in her country, region and internationally. She has created and been involved with the creation of a number of organizations that are focusing on the empowerment of disabled women and addressing issues such as gender-based violence which is a significant problem that disabled and non-disabled women face.
(Jury member Judith Heumann)

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