By Cass Isidro, President and CEO
The Amputee Coalition celebrates March 8 as International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
The Amputee Coalition applauds International Women’s Day and the powerful IWD 2023 theme #EmbraceEquity to get the world talking about why equal opportunities aren’t enough. We stand with International Women’s Day in the belief that true inclusion and belonging require equitable action.
Statistically, 10% of the population is living with a disability and 51% are females, and the number continues to increase. Millions of women are living with a mobility disability and/or limb loss or limb difference.
Here at the Amputee Coalition, we are committed to a vision where our community thrives. And today, during this critical time elevating and celebrating the remarkable achievements and contributions of women around the world, we recognize all our Amputee Coalition board of directors, leadership staff, and community members. We highlight our all-woman and diverse executive leadership team: Human Resources, D&I and Youth Engagement Program Vice President Alicia Straughter, Ph.D.; Chief Strategy and Communications Officer Jerrica Thurman; and Chief Programs Officer Ashlie White.
The Amputee Coalition would also like to acknowledge our 2023 National Conference keynote speaker Amy Purdy, who despite losing both her legs below the knee due to meningitis at the age of 19, refused to let that hold her back from achieving her dreams. Amy Purdy is a New York Times bestselling author who has been published in 10 languages, one of the most in-demand motivational and keynote speakers in the world, a three-time Paralympic medalist and trailblazer in Paralympic snowboarding, and the host of a critically acclaimed podcast about resilience called “Bouncing Forward.”
We again honor the passing of Judy Heumann, a true champion of people with disabilities. A person with quadriplegia since childhood, Judy spent most of her life fighting for the rights of people with disabilities. She came to prominence as a disability advocate in 1970 after successfully suing the Board of Education in New York for the right to be employed as a teacher. In doing so, she became the first New York City teacher who used a wheelchair. She served in two presidential administrations, working to ensure people with disabilities had the opportunity to live, learn, work, play, and participate in civic life as equals.
Today and every day women hold up half the sky and are doing great things, we celebrate this.
This International Women’s Day and Month, let us celebrate the achievements of women who have overcome incredible odds to become leaders in their fields. And let us continue to support and empower women everywhere so that they too can reach their full potential. #EmbraceEquity