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Conference On Disability: Creating A Level Playing Field For ALL Women In Aotearoa NZ

Joint press release by Pacific Women’s Watch and Disabled Women’s Forum

The upcoming conference spotlights the systemic inequities which disabled women and intersex people face in accessing family violence support, and what allies can do about it.

The free event, organised jointly by Pacific Women's Watch NZ (PWW-NZ) and Disabled Women’s Forum, takes place online over zoom on Saturday 28 November and will be NZ Sign Language-interpreted.

“For the past 5 years, I have witnessed the passion and expertise our co-board member Lorri Mackness brings to her advocacy for disabled women's rights and equality. Lorri, who has lived experience as a disabled woman, is a role model and inspiration for the way she has continued through pain and medical challenges, yet managed to facilitate and support Disabled Women's Forum to speak out and ask our country's leaders to respond to the discrimination and inequalities experienced by those who are marginalised by gender, disability and ethnicity.” Says Rosie Paterson-Lima, board member of PWW-NZ who suggested the conference theme for this year.

Notable speakers include the Minister for Disability Issues Hon Carmel Sepuloni, the Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero MNZM, and Green MP Jan Logie, former Under-Secretary on Domestic and Sexual violence.

“Too often, our solutions have assumed a universal experience of violence and denied disabled people opportunities to report and appropriate services to keep them safe if they do," Logie says.

“We have to design policies, processes and safety plans that work for all people impacted by family violence.”

Conference panels feature perspectives from cis and trans woman and intersex people, with a range of visible and invisible disabilities. Based on themes of speaking up and creating equity, panelists will respond to questions like: "What do you want to never hear, see, said or done about disabled women ever again?" And "assuming every woman in this audience wants to be your ally, what do you want/need from your allies?"

Disabled people, family violence workers and all those seeking to better understand how to create equity for disabled women are warmly invited. Register here.

About Pacific Women's Watch NZ
PWW-NZ is Non-Governmental Organisation in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC) since 2010.

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