This is a guest post by Olley Edwards.
November 6 2014 Autism Women Matter flew out to Geneva to take part in the Beijing +20 Review. Autism Women Matter with many professionals who are in a position to help the voices, needs and equality of women and girls with autism, for their needs to be met . Autism Daily Newscast reported on Olley Edwards and Monique Blakemore preparing for the UN, which can be read here. This part 2, part 1 can be read here.
After the talk, Tchaurea Fleury of the International Disability Alliance spent a lot of time with Autism Women Matter to discuss how best to move these issues forward and we took a lot of comments on board and feel that this is a real area of development.
“Being invited by Erich Kofnel from Autistic Minority International was an invitation no advocacy group could refuse and one we were honoured to accept. Many of the difficulties experienced are directly related not just to our rights as autistic people but our rights as human beings. And it this dialogue of us as human beings that will be a continued dialogue as we further advocate for and with the women of our community. We are entitled to live our lives on an equal basis with others and it is important that the ways we need to eliminate current inequalities are clearly communicated to individuals, groups and governments that are to support and work with us.
Geneva was an opportunity to give a presentation but also to speak and meet with women making a difference for the rights of women internationally. The generosity in spirit was encouraging and motivating from the International Alliance of Women to the United Nations staff including Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, Secretary General of World Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) and Phumzile Mlambo -Ngcuka (who is a United Nations Under-Secretary-General and the Executive Director of UN Women).”
Autism Women Matter moves forward to the World Human Rights Forum in the knowledge that the international community is listening and engaging. This is a time for solidarity and growth that is validating and demonstrating limitless possibilities for the future development of autistic women and our strengths.
“The Beijing process is about gender mainstreaming. When most people hear “autism”, they mistakenly think of boys and men only. Moving from autism awareness to autism acceptance, we must ensure that autistic girls and women are equally recognized. The side event was a unique opportunity to introduce UN experts, government representatives andwomen’s rights activists to autistic women who advocate for their own.rights and their daughters’ futures.”
Autism Women Matter are now preparing to attend the Global World Human Rights Forum in Marrakech this week and are committed to making the changes needed worldwide for autism women and girls .
Olley Edwards is a British film maker, model and actress who was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s. She has three girls, two of whom are on the autism spectrum. She is a relentless campaigner and spokeswoman on the subject of autism and girls.