Today is International Women’s Day.
The theme is #ChooseToChallenge.
When you attend (or organise) a Women’s Day event (and any event around the year), I want you to ask yourself three questions:
Who is in the room?
Who can’t get in the room?
How will you invite them into the room?
I’ve been invited to do a few #IWD2021 events this month, but as usual I’m noticing the absence of disabled women from International Women’s Day events and media. Feminism constantly forgets disability.
I challenge you to actively create space for disabled women.
Create physical, online and financial accessibility. Hold your events in accessible venues – from board meetings to birthday parties; caption your videos and do image descriptions on your social media posts; include some lower priced or free options for your events; hold events at times outside of breakfast meetings (and record them so they’re available on demand).
Make sure disabled people and accessibility is always included and planned for.
Diversify your social media feeds – don’t just follow women who look and think like you, or have the same experiences as you.
Ensure you’re hearing not just from white disabled people – that you’re including, hearing from and amplifying Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse disabled people, gender diverse disabled people, queer disabled people, intellectually disabled people, disabled people who communicate differently (like through Auslan and assisted communication devices).
Fill your bookshop with books by #OwnVoices authors – that is, books written about diverse topics by writers from those diverse communities.
Engage meaningfully with disabled people – that means asking us to collaborate, providing accessibility even before we ask for it, connecting with disabled people online in IRL, paying us for our lived experience.
Pass the mic to disabled people – enabling us to become leaders through mentoring, training and payment.
If this post has helped you or will use it in your workplace, please consider buying me a drink.