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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 12 May 2021) . . Page.. 1411 ..

Women with disabilities in the ACT have a significantly lower labour force participation rate, at 65.1 per cent, compared to men with disabilities at 80.1 per cent. Women with disabilities are, unfortunately, 40 per cent more likely to be the victims of domestic violence than women without disabilities. Women with disabilities experience sexual victimisation at a rate four to 10 times higher than non-disabled women. Women with disabilities are substantially more likely to experience insecure housing.

There are some core strategic goals of Women with Disabilities ACT, including representation on ACT government policy and advisory groups, civil society organisations and businesses, and empowering women with disabilities to act as representatives within their community.

A case in point would be their CEO, Kat Reed, who was recently appointed Young Canberra Citizen of the Year, in part for Kat’s focus on the intersectionality facing LGBTQIA+ people, people living with a disability, and those from culturally and ethnically diverse backgrounds. They have a focus on health, violence prevention, urban development and safety, and housing—a very broad brief that they have given themselves.

One of the key programs that Women with Disabilities ACT are currently working on is the parenting support group for parents with a disability. Parents, particularly women, face stigma from health services, family, friends and society for having children, instead of receiving extra supports that enable them to appropriately care for their child alongside their disability.

This support group has a membership of 45 parents. Women with Disabilities ACT are currently developing a policy on the barriers that parents with disability face. They regularly participate in forums and government consultations, and make submissions at both state and federal levels. They have been very involved with COVID and recovery research on the issues that impacted women with a disability, in particular, and are very engaged in the disability royal commission engagement and outreach.

Their work is so valued in the ACT, and so valued by the ACT government, that they were recently awarded a commendation at the 2019 Inclusion Awards for excellence in championing human rights and equality. Back in 2015 they were awarded the Chief Minister’s Inclusion Award for excellence in championing human rights.

It was a pleasure to meet Kat, and Women with Disabilities ACT. I look forward to working with them as they continue to advocate for systemic equality for women with a disability in Canberra.

Arts—recent achievements

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra—Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Business and Better Regulation, Minister for Human Rights and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (5.12): I rise this afternoon to provide an update on some of the incredible arts activities and achievements in Canberra recently.

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