Over the years, WWDA has received many reports from women and girls with disabilities and their supporters that there is a lack of representation and inclusion of women and girls with disabilities in leadership roles and public decision-making forums across Australia. The United Nations has also expressed concern about this and asked the Australian Government to improve leadership and decision-making opportunities for women with disabilities.

Despite some improvements, women and girls with disabilities continue to be told they cannot ‘lead’ and are rarely given opportunities to participate meaningfully in leadership programs and training.

This statement outlines our vision for what leadership needs to look like to be inclusive of women and girls with disabilities and why it is so important.

The statement also discusses five fundamental principles:

  • Lead by lifting others up
  • Value diversity and lived experience
  • Challenging and transforming traditional views of leadership
  • Care for self to care for the community
  • Nothing about us without us

In preparation for this Statement, WWDA worked in co-design with the WWDA LEAD Project Steering Committee. The committee comprises experienced and diverse women with disabilities from across the country. Through the co-design process, WWDA explored current leadership struggles, progress, and achievements. We also looked at the feminist and transformative leadership that made up the history of the disability rights movement and explored the work of marginalised communities such as First Nations peoples, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQA+), Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) and Migrant and Refugee communities.

Please read, share and help challenge leadership in your communities:

WWDA’s Leadership Poster

The above image is a poster including the five principles.

WWDA LEAD Activities

Find out more about the other activities you could get involved by clicking one of the below: