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 in public decision-making forums across Australia. The United Nations has also expressed its concern about this and has asked the Australian Government to improve leadership and decision-making opportunities for women with disabilities.

Despite some improvements over time, women and girls with disabilities are still being told that they cannot ‘lead’ and are rarely given opportunities to participate meaningfully in leadership programs, opportunities, or 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 5 key principles:

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

In preparation for this Statement, WWDA has worked in a co-design framework and approach with the WWDA LEAD Project Steering Committee, made up of experienced and diverse women with disabilities from across the country. Through this process and space, WWDA has recognised and explored existing leadership struggles, progress, and achievements, including the feminist and transformative leadership that made up the history of the disability rights movement and the formation of WWDA, as well as the work of marginalised communities such as that of 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 own communities.