International Women’s Day – women supporting women

Women are a driving force behind the NDIS, which is supporting Australian women living with disability to live independently and play significant roles in the workforce and their communities. 

On International Women’s Day 2021, the NDIA acknowledges the achievements and contributions of all women, as well as the vital role of women in delivering the Scheme, supporting Australians with disability to live their best lives. 

NDIA spokesperson Shannon Rees said the NDIS was giving Australian women with disability more choice and control over their lives, helping them to achieve their goals. 

“We recognise the achievements of women, today and every day – in particular the incredible contribution of women in the disability community,” Ms Rees said.

“The Scheme is contributing to gender equality in Australia by supporting women who live with disability, and those women who care for family members with disability, to work in their chosen fields.” 

Ms Rees said the NDIS supported women with disability to increase their independence and pursue their goals, such as employment, in a variety of ways. This may include funding for transport assistance, assistive technologies, physical and occupational therapies, and for support workers who help with performing daily tasks, such as personal care, shopping, cooking and cleaning.

She said NDIS support also allowed many women caring for children or partners with disability to return to study and the workforce. Data shows that for families and carers of participants aged under 25, the likelihood of them working in a paid job increases the longer their family member is receiving supports from the NDIS.

“Many of these are women who are in leadership roles, both in the workforce, in the disability community and in the broader community,” she said.

Ms Rees said women now made up more than 75 per cent of the permanent NDIA workforce, the Agency which implements the Scheme.

“The NDIA is committed to gender equality, and on this International Women’s Day, which importantly recognises the significant contribution of women around the world, I am proud to be part of such a strong team,” said Ms Rees.

“We aim to be an employer of choice for women and women with disability, providing equal opportunities for all staff, regardless of their gender identity.”

Almost a year since Australia’s first COVID lockdown, the UN theme and focus for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. 

Ms Rees says the NDIS had continued to support women and all participants throughout the pandemic, with improved access and outcomes, as well as greater plan flexibility.

The NDIS now supports more than 160,000 women who live with permanent and significant disability.