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Achieving balance through better services for women

international women's day banner. illustration of three women smiling

8/03/2019

Better balance is the focus for this year’s International Women’s Day, with the ultimate goal of gender equality.

Women around the world continue to face daily challenges in living, working and sometimes, surviving. Women with disability are even more adversely affected by human rights issues, coming up against greater barriers in accessing education, work and employment, and their experience of family and reproductive rights, and health.

NDS celebrates the lives and achievements of women with disability today and every day, as well as the people that support them.

NDS members and other disability service organisations across Australia are doing important work to support women with disability, and the majority of workers in these organisations are women themselves! We’d like to highlight just some of the great work being done in the sector.

Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), operating as a ‘transnational human rights and systemic advocacy organisation’, has been advocating recently for reproductive rights in Australia as well as services to combat domestic violence. WWDA has also just announced that it will soon be launching a Virtual Centre for Women and Girls with Disability with funding through the NDIS.

Women with Disabilities Victoria has been supporting a national inquiry into ending sexual harassment in the workplace and consulting to create a local Women’s Empowerment and Leadership Hub.

Advocacy for Inclusion and Women with Disabilities ACT have been highlighting issues faced by women with disability accessing domestic violence support services, while YWCA Canberra ran a session on Intersectional Perspectives on Disability and LGBTIQ* Identities and Rights, recognising the complexities of identity and disability.

We want to add your voice to the celebration! Let us know what you’re doing today, or about the work you’re doing each day to support women in the community.

NDS Acting CEO, David Moody, joined the conversation about International Women’s Day. “Today is an important day for many reasons; but there are two issues in particular I’d like to call out,” he said. “Days like IWD remind us all to have the conversation and reflection on what it is to be a woman in our business and sector today. Some of the women in our office have shared their views, experiences and thoughts with me today about what they think is still not right in our workplaces – and how the conversation of power dynamics is still a conversation we need to be having.”

“The other issue is that in our sector, of which the workforce is predominately women, we are still seeing examples of where women’s voices and efforts are not acknowledged. It is incumbent on all of us, to be vigilant around the situation that exists for some people in our society. Whether through disability, gender, culture or religion many people face discrimination and unfair treatment. We should all be affronted by suggestions that some people are lesser due to these differences,” David said.

“Today on International Women’s Day, I’d urge all organisations and people to do better; and to be conscious of the bias that still exists for many of your colleagues and friends. Women deserve the same opportunities, the same safety, the same support and encouragement to succeed in our organisations as men. I celebrate the women at NDS and the many thousands of others who are carers, advocates and leaders in disability services. The work women do in our sector is worthy of recognition, today and every day.”

Contact information
Indre McGlinn, Content Writer & Editor, 02 9256 3181,