Today is for all women, including women with disability

Thu 8 March 2018

Seven women in business attire with their arms outstretched as if pushing forward

International Women’s Day (IWD), 8 March, is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women. The UN Women National Committee Australia’s theme for IWD in 2018 is “Leave no woman behind.”

This year, there’s a strong call to action to press forward and progress gender parity (#PressforProgress). At the Australian Network on Disability (AND), today we #PressforProgress for all women, including women with disability.

At AND, we know the challenges faced by women and girls with disability are particularly significant. For many, the low expectations of schools, communities, cultures and sometimes even families can eat away at their confidence and career trajectory. However, we also know that with the right support, women with disability can thrive. Our #PressforProgress is for people to heighten their expectations of women with disability.

Employer engagement surveys have shown that people with disability – especially women – are less confident about advancing their careers. They’ve shown that women who were principal caregivers to someone with disability or chronic illness did not agree that their senior managers genuinely supported their career advancement. Our #PressforProgress is for employers, leaders and managers to learn how to boost the confidence of women with disability in the workplace.

When we consider that one in ten women in the Australian workforce has a disability, it becomes apparent that disability is a very normal part of human diversity. When we consider that the likelihood of living with disability increases with age, it stands to reason that most of us will be affected by disability at some stage in our life – personally or through a friend or family member. Our #PressforProgress is to raise up all women through encouragement and appreciation, see past disability and see benefits.

Today, we #PressforProgress for all women, with and without disability, to believe in and aspire to their own economic, social, cultural and political empowerment.

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