Autism Women Matter honoured to participate in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Monique BlaKemore and Olley Edwards, reprinted with permission

Monique Blakemore and Olley Edwards, reprinted with permission

Autism Women Matter, UK – is an all female advocacy group consisting of females who are either on the autistic spectrum or who are involved in promoting awareness and understanding for those women who are on the spectrum. Autism Daily Newscast reported on Autism Women Matter back in February and our report can be read here.

The Beijing+20 Regional Review Meeting is to be held on 6 – 7 November, by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Geneva, Switzerland. Olley Edwards, Co Founder of the group who advocates for females who are both diagnosed and undiagnosed with Autism Spectrum Conditions has been nominated by Autism Women Matter to act as their representative.

Olley who has also been shortlisted as a finalist for a National Diversity Award,  is an experienced public speaker, author, film maker and actress who strives to help other women and girls with an Autistic Spectrum Condition, whether they are diagnosed or not.

Olley Edwards

Olley Edwards

The Beijing+20 Regional Review Meeting

She told Autism Daily Newscast:

“It is an absolute honour to be joining Autism Women Matter at the United Nations this week, In 12 months Autism Women Matter have worked tirelessly to promote and support organisations to better recognise and understand female Autism and have supported Autistic females to better understand themselves and the hurdles that they may face; due to lack of awareness on such a global scale. I hope the results of talking, attending and networking at the UN will really concrete change that will have such a positive effect for all, both females with autism and the professionals that support them. I would like to publically thank Monique Blakemore for her belief in my ability to deliver this speech on behalf of all Autism Women Matter, and more importantly for all her hard work that she manages to do to a world class standard, every day without payment or praise. I thank my daughters, and girls like my daughters, for being my reason and internal driving force to ensure we adults, with autism, jump the hurdles on behalf of them, leaving less hurdles for a future for Autistic females”

Olley will also be supported by fellow Co Founder,Monique Blakemore who told us:

Monique Blakemore

Monique Blakemore

“Autism Women Matter aims to raise the profile of the current gender inequality for autistic girls and women and the opportunity to present at the Beijing 20+ Review meeting allows us to speak on a global scale. For every issue we experience within the UK, women across the world are facing similar challenges.

Over two days we will have many opportunities to meet with governments, charities and groups that represent the best interests of women. Sometimes, autistic women find that current services are not inclusive and raising an understanding of how these groups can include autistic women is important.

We know women have tremendous strengths. We also know there are challenges with professional misunderstandings and there are implications to not understanding women such as the higher rates of polycystic ovaries than non autistic peers with lower diagnostic rates.”

Monique further adds:

“Our group works on a strength based approach with members using their talents to promote the best interest of female advocacy. And this is why it was a natural and quite logical decision to have Olley Edwards represent us in Geneva”

The Autism Women Matter website states that the meeting;

‘will address key areas of progress and challenges in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the UNECE member States with a focus on the Women and Economy area in the context of the current economic situation and demographic trends in the UNECE region. As it will mark the 20-year anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the meeting will be an opportunity for UNECE member States to highlight key achievements and setbacks over the last two decades and discuss how to strengthen gender equality in the post-2015 development agenda.’

Autism Wonem MatterThe meeting will also provide an opportunity to  discuss the many challenges that are faced by autistic girls and women. Autism Women Matter state:

‘Our advocacy has focused on the diagnostic support, misconceptions on parenting, transition support from child to adult services and relationship with professional services.’

Appledore Dental Clinic based at both Binfield, Berkshire and Milton Keynes are sponsoring both Olley and Monique and have paid for their flights. Olley told:

“They are really fab people, so patient. I have known them over 12 years.  They have a great autism supports in place.”

You can find Autism Women Matter on Facebook

The Autism Women Matter website can be found here