International Women's Day - Are we really being heard?
International Woman’s day provides a global platform for raising awareness, challenging the status quo and giving rightful applause for jobs well-done around issues relating to women. But I wonder, for all the noise out there, are we really being heard?
I am usually a super positive person, but International Woman’s Day this week made me realise that I’m struggling to stay so. Given the events nationally over the past few weeks, I feel like the status of women has really declined and we are not being heard.
What does IWD mean to me?
Firstly, I am truly inspired by all the women both within our organisation and the disability sector as a whole – we are educated, articulate, passionate and forthright about genuinely making a difference to the lives of people with a disability (PWD).
Secondly, mothers, carers and family members of PWD, in often extremely difficult circumstances, are never giving up the fight for their child’s right to lead an equal life. And here comes the challenges.
Why, are women in the 21st century are still fighting for equal pay?
I question why the workforce in the disability sector (mainly women) is still so disproportionately and so lowly paid compared to other sectors? Meanwhile, carers (mainly female) carry most of the burden and responsibility for care for PWD and therefore are unable to participate in other paid work, and thus immediately less able to provide financially and secure a better future for themselves and their family.
Women and girls with a disability are still easy targets for abuse.
Sexual, physical and financial abuse continues. How can we seriously challenge the wider community to understand this and put steps in place to protect these women?
I ask you to reflect with me on ‘how I can personally make a difference in other women’s lives’?
Am I doing my best? Am I ‘choosing to challenge’? Can we as an organisation create more supports for women for engagement (community, social, financial) and empowerment?
My small commitment to these big issues is to pen a series of upcoming blogs on these points. Please follow and join me in shouting louder and longer, and making a personal difference beyond International Woman’s Day this week.
Ros Winzar, Director of Pathways to Care.