Women’s Equality Day is a very important time to celebrate the progress that has been made for women and girls everywhere and this year is no exception. But this day must also serve as a reminder of the things that still need to be done to create equality for everyone, especially for women with learning disabilities or autism.
As a woman who receives support, I know just how important it is for my views to be heard when we think about women’s rights. The Dimensions Council helps me to do this. We are a group of individuals who represent everyone that Dimensions supports. We talk about issues that matter for people with learning disabilities or autism and work collaboratively with the Dimensions Board to ensure everyone understands what good support looks like and how it feels to receive support.
On this Women’s Equality Day, there are voices in the UK and around the world that we must be listening to closely.
We also shouldn’t forget about mothers with a learning disability or autism. Whilst there is lots of information about having a child with complex needs, the possibility of being a mother with a learning disability or autism is not talked about enough. This lack of support has meant that some women with learning disabilities or autism have had negative experiences surrounding motherhood, so it is incredibly important that there is more information, education and support available to all women about parenthood.
Diverse voices in health must also be heard. Talking about basic things like periods and menopause is still a taboo, and this can make it harder for women with learning disabilities or autism to have access to information about our bodies. If we have more information and support available, it would it easier for women like me to feel independent when they go to the doctors or GP surgery.
I hope this Women’s Equality Day makes people think about change. I hope this year and in years to come we remember that every woman’s voice, opinion and story is important.
Blog written by Chelsea Lovell, Dimensions Council Member