Media Release by Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

Australian women and girls with disability break the bias every single day

This International Women’s Day (IWD), we celebrate the contributions that women with disability make to our nation and we recommit ourselves to advancing gender equality and fostering inclusion for all Australian women.

Minister for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Government Services, Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds CSC, said that the Morrison Government was empowering more Australian women with disability to #BreakTheBias and achieve their aspirations.

“As Minister for the NDIS, every day I hear stories of women with disability smashing stereotypes and breaking the gender bias in their communities.

“While women with disability still often face disproportionately more barriers to accessing opportunities than the general community, these women are consistently achieving for their communities and themselves.

“Women with disability are breaking the bias every day by pursuing new education and employment opportunities, by supporting other women with disability, by powerfully advocating for the change they want to see in our society, by demanding the services they are entitled to and by achieving their individual living goals.

“As a government we are committed to supporting as many Australian women with disability as possible to achieve their aspirations including through education and employment opportunities. Through the NDIS we are proudly transforming the lives of more than 187,000 Australian women and girls with significant and permanent disability,” Minister Reynolds said today.

“I also understand how important it is for women with disability to be represented on the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) Board, which is why in December of last year, I appointed Ms Leah van Poppel and Ms Meredith Allan to the Board. These impressive and inspirational women are already making significant contributions to the future of the NDIS.

“Shortly after commencing as Minister for the NDIS, I attended the Women’s Safety Summit where I heard firsthand the impact of domestic violence for women and children with disability, and the need for this to be considered in the broader conversation, and when engaging with the NDIS.

“That is why I am working with the NDIA and NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission to ensure the NDIS has the right systems and supports in place to prevent violence from occurring, and to protect the information of women who have been subject to violence or harm,” Minister Reynolds said.

The Morrison Government is committed to addressing family, domestic and sexual violence against women and, specifically for women with disability, we are investing:

  • $2.5 million to develop an evidence based framework to inform practical actions for addressing violence against women with disability;
  • $4.2 million to provide information and train women with disability, policy developers, support workers and police health workers; and
  • $2.3 million to co-design, develop and test web-based resources for women and girls with disability.

This year’s theme of #BreakTheBias is a reminder that gender equality is not solely a women’s issue, and that everybody in our community has a responsibility to advance the rights of Australian women and girls.