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Joe’s Soapbox

author icon author icon 07/11/2022 author icon Joe's Soapbox

On Friday 30th September I had the honour of watching the Womenspire awards on Facebook.

Womenspire celebrates the important role women play in society.

I was delighted that women with learning disabilities were included in this.

This was thanks in part to Mencap Cymru who sponsored the awards.

Wayne Crocker, Director of Mencap Cymru presented the award.

The opening award was the Community Connector award.

Four people first members were finalists. They were:

  • Sarah Griffiths (Monmouthshire).
  • Dawn Gullis (Cardiff).
  • Sophie Hinksman (Pembrokeshire).
  • Fran Holmes (Conwy).

The award was won by Sophie Hinksman.

But all of the finalists were very impressive.

Later on, Newport People First member Zarah Kaleem won the ‘Community Connector award’.

She was up against very strong competition.

It was wonderful that two members of people first won an award.

Women still face issues of inequality in society.

It is right that awards such as Womenspire exist to remind people of the important contribution women make.

And it is wonderful that women with learning disabilities played a part in that.

Inspirational women who set a wonderful example to all members.

I would like to congratulate all five women nominated for awards.

Your example will not only encourage other women with learning disabilities to work for positive change.

It will help to make an important contribution to the wider movement to reduce gender inequality for women.

As I have said many times before, being seen and being visible is very important if we are to challenge societies negative perceptions of learning disability.

The suffragette movement in the early 1900s is an excellent example of how women worked together to increase the rights of women.

It is important that women continue to lead by their example.

It is important that everyone, male or female learn from their example.

It is a positive example of what can be achieved with self-advocacy.

Girl power.


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