After taking a few weeks off writing – it felt only right to come back on International women’s day.
International Women’s Day takes place on the 8th March annually to celebrate the achievements of women, to raise awareness against bias and to inspire and empower us all to take action for equality. The theme for 2022 is #BreakTheBias.
I love to envision a world that’s inclusive to all, but also gender equal. Free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. Where difference is valued and celebrated.
While i think you should celebrate yourself every day, International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to reflect and celebrate our achievements especially in a world that doesn’t really see us as equal, disabled or not.
It’s also about uplifting and empowering each other in life, and in our communities. You see, we’re much stronger together – I believe that when we uplift another, you empower yourself.
I have had the pleasure of meeting, campaigning and working alongside the greasiest of women from mothers of disabled children, friends and allies fighting for disabled people even my own mother. I have taken lessons and watched in ore of how they are challenging and changing the face of how people look at disabilities.
But, why I hear you say – As a disabled women bias and unconscious bias is a heavy load to carry.
Disabled women are often stereotyped as being childlike and subjected to paternalism, we are seen as object of pity. 90% of us have experienced sexual assault and are twice as likely than women without disabilities to experience sexual violence” (Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and exploitation of People with Disabilities, 2021).
Disabled women are also very under-represented in the workforce, in educational attainment. When writing this and trying not to make it into epic tale of woes and injustices suffered by disabled women, I would like to turn your attention to those disabled women who have strived to use their voices to make the changes by sharing their struggles and strengths. Like Samantha Ranke, Tess Daly, Lucy wood and Emma Muldoon are just to name a couple of incredible disabled women.
Since finding my own voice – that I will admit wasn’t an easy task in years past, but when I did It was a relief to be able to speak my truth, but the most powerful tool I have is just that … My voice. My struggles. My strengths. My disability these are all that make me!
Solidarity comes in many different forms showing our support and encouragement is so important. We don’t need to bring women down because of their disabilities, shape, gender, background, race or religion. We should be shouting about how fabulous women are showing the love no matter what.
Until next time, let’s celebrate the women around us!
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