On 8 March each year, people around the world combine to celebrate International Women’s Day – a global day celebrating the great and varied achievements of women. The theme for this year is “Each for Equal”, encouraging everyone to help forge a gender equal world by celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness against bias and acting for equality.
This year breakthru are proud to be part of the #EachforEqual campaign as we celebrate the fantastic achievements of many successful women, including women with disability. With over two million women and girls with disability living in Australia, it is important that we embrace both gender equality and equality and inclusion for everyone.
Our Chief Operating Officer Peta Maskell says that while we have made great progress towards bridging gaps in equality, there is still plenty to do for both women and people with disability in Australia.
“With barriers to employment and inclusion being experienced by both women and people with disability, it can be hard for women with disability to find employment or access the community as they face the stigma two–fold” she said.
“It’s important on days like International Women’s Day that we all come together and celebrate not only equality for women, but equality for all people across Australia”.
According to Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), women and girls with disability are more likely to be without work, discriminated against at work and have difficulty finding employment compared to any other demographic.
At breakthru, we see the significant and unique issues these women face every day. Moreover, the disparity is highlighted by a WWDA report that identifies working-age women with disability in the labour force are:
- Half as likely as men with disability to find full-time employment.
- Twice as likely as men with disability to be in part-time employment.
Reflecting on statistics like these is exactly why we are dedicated to changing this trend and empowering both women and girls with disability to achieve their career and life goals.
In many cases, the bias seen in schools, homes, communities and workplaces (whether it is conscious or unconscious) can slowly wither their self-confidence and sense of independence; resulting in more profound physical and mental health concerns. This leads to a snowball effect where it becomes harder to find work or feel included, as health concerns and discrimination slowly accumulate over time.
However, with the right support, women with disability can thrive and achieve all their life goals, just like Krystyna or any number of our wonderful customers. This is why campaigns like #EachforEqual are incredibly important, and why we created our International Women’s Day video to showcase our support for some of the successful, caring women we are blessed to have here at breakthru.
So today, we ask you: what are you doing to create a more equal world?
Having grown up with his younger sister Katey (who was born with Down Syndrome), Josh has witnessed first hand the barriers and misconceptions placed around people with a disability. As part of the breakthru team, Josh hopes to assist people just like Katey find the information or supports they need to live their best life.