CW: abuse, violence, discrimination towards disabled women
As you matched for justice today, I hope you didn’t forget disabled women, especially disabled women from First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse communities; intellectually disabled women and transgender women.
1800 Respect states:
“Compared to women without disability, women with disability:
* Are at greater risk of severe forms of intimate partner violence
* Experience violence at significantly higher rates, more frequently, for longer, in more ways, and by more perpetrators
* Have considerably fewer pathways to safety
* Are less likely to report experiences of violence”.
In 2020, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported:
* Fifty three percent of Working age disabled people participate in the Australian workforce, compared to eighty four percent of non disabled people.
*People with disability are more likely than people without disability to leave school early and to have a lower level of education
“ * People with disability generally have a lower level of personal income than people without disability.”
The statistics are shocking. But they’re rarely addressed.
Don’t forget disabled women who are denied an education; and who are afraid to disclose their disability at work for fear of losing their jobs.
The disabled women whose medical conditions are not taken seriously by doctors.
The disabled women who are forcefully sterilised or who are dissuaded from having children.
The disabled women who report violence and discrimination, only to be disbelieved – deemed unreliable witnesses.
The disabled women who can’t access safety.
The disabled women who cannot speak up.
The disabled women raped and killed by partners, parents, support workers, strangers & institutions.
The secondary ableism and gaslighting we face when we speak out about discrimination. “It didn’t happen like that, maybe you’re over reacting, you’re lying”, they say.
The expectation that we shouldn’t be angry when discrimination happens, and for us to be polite at all times.
The lateral violence we face from other disabled people when we do advocacy differently.
The disabled women who are not paid fairly – if at all – for their work.
The disabled women who do not have access to healthcare because the buildings aren’t accessible and the communication isn’t accessible.
The disabled women who do work around access and inclusion only to be asked to continually do more work.
The disabled girls women who aren’t taught about sexual health, sexual pleasure and consent because expectations of disabled women are too low.
The disabled women who are not represented in media and literature.
Don’t forget us.