Strong young disabled women making waves in research

International Women's Day logoThis International Women’s Day (#IWD2019) we want to celebrate our co-researchers in our Co-Researcher Collective, all of whom are proud disabled young women.

International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women’s equality.

The International Women’s Day 2019 campaign theme of #BalanceforBetter is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world.

As an ESRC-funded project, Living Life to the Fullest is really proud to be creating research opportunities for disabled young women. Disabled young people with life limiting and/or life threatening impairments are typically excluded from academic research, particularly in regards to its leadership (Liddiard et al. 2018). We are proud to say that The Co-Researcher Collective is radically impacting the way research is typically carried out. Collectively, co-researchers are co-leading the project, undertaking fieldwork (collecting data), collaborating in data analysis, and writing, sharing and promoting the research and its findings (Liddiard et al. 2018; Whitney et al. in press).

Co-Researcher Sally Whitney said, “Joining the co-researcher collective has benefitted me personally in addition to being a group doing fab quality research into the lives of young, disabled people. This is because it a group formed of amazing, strong, young disabled women who are making waves in and outside the spheres of disability studies and activism. They have challenged me to believe in myself more, value and trust my own experience and allowed me the space to grow in the field of research. Not only that but they are bold, powerful women who have taught me that I am far more capable than I realise and inspired me to push the limits of my own and society’s expectations.”

Co-Researcher Emma Vogelmann said, “Being in an all female research group has been an amazing experience. We work together so well, particularly as some of us have never met in person! We have become great friends who empower each other and support each other everyday. When I see an article about smashing the patriarchy or about an amazing disabled role model, I instantly want to share it with the co-researcher collective!” 

Keep up to date with our fab project by following our new Twitter account: @FullLivesESRC


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