To mark International Women's Day 2016 Whizz-Kidz is highlighting the achievements of British female wheelchair users and shining a spotlight on the future generation of strong, female, disabled leaders and role models who are establishing themselves.
8 out of 12 members of the current Whizz-Kidz Kidz Board (the group of young trustees who represent the charity) are young female wheelchair users. They have subverted the traditional gender makeup of boards and are in a good position to become the next generation's leaders.
Since 2008 Whizz-Kidz has supported more than 2,000 young disabled women to reach their true potential. 30 year old, powered chair user Arunima Misra is one example. Arunima had to rely on friends and family to push her around until she got a powered wheelchair from Whizz-Kidz when she was 14. Since then, Arunima has gone onto graduate from Cambridge University, has qualified as a lawyer and is now forging a career in finance and regularly challenging people's perceptions of disabled females. Arunima recently appeared on Channel 4's First Dates. Arunima says:
'Finance is generally a male dominated field, I am the only female wheelchair user in my office and often people are surprised when I turn up to meetings in my wheelchair.'
'I want there to be more opportunities for young, disabled women to make their mark in the world. I believe that with the right support like Whizz-Kidz gave me, gender and disability equality doesn't have to be something we pledge for, but is an everyday reality.'
Whizz-Kidz is calling for more opportunities and greater recognition for female wheelchair users to address the gender and disability gap and is joining the international community to pledge for parity on Tuesday 8th March 2016.