Australian women living with disabilities and employment from 2014 to 2018

Author: Thi Ha

Ha, Thi, 2020 Australian women living with disabilities and employment from 2014 to 2018 , Flinders University, College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

Terms of Use: This electronic version is (or will be) made publicly available by Flinders University in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. You may use this material for uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material and/or you believe that any material has been made available without permission of the copyright owner please contact with the details.


Research and statistics show that Australian women living with disabilities (WWD) are facing multiple layers of disadvantage with regards to labour force participation, compared to women without disability, or men with disabilities (MWD). The Government of Australia endeavours to improve the employment of people with disabilities (PWD) through legislative change. However, there is a lack of research assessing NGOs (Non-profit Organisations) roles in supporting WWD into work in Australia. The purpose of this research is to assess how two NGOs, namely Women with Disabilities in Australia (WWDA) and Disability Employment Australia (DEA) have supported WWD to secure employment during the period of 2014-2018. This analysis is informed by Marxist Feminism, Intersectionality and Feminist Disability Theory, and analysed the NGOs across 7 key themes: 1) awareness raising to strengthen employment opportunities for WWD, 2) inclusion WWD in their activities, advocacy and reports, 3) intersectionality in diverse cultural and social background groups 4) partnership development to strengthen their voice and results, 5) discrimination against disability in employment, 6) telling WWDs’ stories: mapping the importance of employment for WWD 7) types of disability with different barriers in employment. In the thesis, I argue that while NGOs have been partially successful in their strategies to support WWD to gain employment, WWD in Australia are not sufficiently supported through this work by NGOs and continue to be disadvantaged due to a lack of gender responsive action. Further focus on gender, disability and employment of NGOs, representative of the various disability groups is needed, to boost the labour rates for WWD in Australia.

Keywords: Women living with disability, people with disability, employment, employment opportunity, women with disability in Australia, Disability Employment Australia

Subject: Women's Studies thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2020
School: College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Supervisor: Monique Mulholand