This Sunday is International Women’s Day, but since we don’t work weekends, we thought we’d dedicate a whole week to celebrating some incredible disabled women and women who live with chronic illness in the public eye. If there are some amazing women you think we should have mentioned, tweet us and let us know!
You would be quicker listing all of the things that Sam Renke can’t do, because there are simply so many strings to her bow. A Renaissance woman, Sam campaigns hard for disabled people, and we could not be more proud to have her writing grace the pages of PosAbility Magazine every month. She’s currently fighting to break the stigma surrounding HPV, and campaigning to get disabled people better access to smear tests, something which she has personal experience with. We’re so proud to know Sam and we know that she’s fighting the good fight for disabled women.
Baroness Jane Campbell
Baroness Jane Campbell has been a radical disability rights activist since she left university and was introduced to the social model of disability. Through her work in politics, she fearlessly champions for the rights of disabled people and women, feeling that there was no difference between the two. Despite the fact that Baroness Campbell says she’s “never going to change the world,” she’s massively contributed to making the UK a better place for disabled people through her actions in the House of Lords.
We were devastated to learn that the bold, brilliant and beautiful Mama Cax had passed away just before Christmas last year. The Haitian-American model and activist cut her own path through an industry dominated by non-disabled, caucasian women, and her modelling work led her to walk for Fenty Beauty, and participate in a fashion show at the White House put on by the Obamas. The boundaries she broke will define her legacy.
Oksana Masters is a four-time Paralympian and has eight – EIGHT – Paralympic medals from three different Games, all of which she won across three different events. To say that she’s talented and unbelievably motivated would be an understatement. As a child, her mother adopted her from near Chernobyl in Ukraine, and brought her to the US, where she began competing in sports. She’s taken two golds in cross-country skiing, two silver medals in the biathlon, and won the USA’s first-ever medal in the trunk and arms mixed double sculls rowing event. Not content with dominating those sports, she’s aiming to compete in Tokyo this year in the cycling events.
Jameela Jamil is a presenter, actress, DJ and activist who talks openly about living with mental health conditions, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and anorexia. After seeing a post online where a group of celebrities detailed their weight, she started the #IWeigh campaign, which she hoped would empower women to focus on assessing their value based on what they’re grateful for and what they’ve achieved, as opposed to their weight. She’s also a vocal critic of diet shakes and eating suppressant products, and has called for celebrities to stop promoting them.
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