Each year on March 8th we celebrate International Women’s Day – a global day when we honour the economic, political and social achievements of all women. Today we will see different regions celebrate women’s achievements and call for greater equality. A diverse range of activity connects women and those celebrating them from all around the world. This activity ranges from political rallies, to business conferences, to government activities, to online engagement and much more. For more information and to get involved, please click here.

The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The 2016 theme for International Women’s Day is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. The United Nations observance on March 8th will reflect on how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals. It will equally focus on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights.

Women's Day collage

We are fortunate to have so many incredible women working in the Community Living field. Today, we reflect on the progress made, call for change and celebrate acts of courage and determination by women who have played an extraordinary role in the disability sector.

Last year we featured Judith Snow, a longtime advocate for disability rights. She made a profound impact on many lives and was an exceptional, motivated and lifelong learner. Her entire life was dedicated to making a difference for people all over the world and she did this work out of a background of being labelled disabled herself. We were saddened to hear of the passing of Judith in June, but she remains an inspiration to us all.

Highlighting her powerful and passionate nature, I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from Judith: “Our gifts are rare, and that is good. But, as difficult as our bodies and minds can be, their very uniqueness brings strength and positive challenge both to we who live in these bodies and minds, and to society — when we are appreciated, respected and celebrated.”