Christina Ryan established the Disability Leadership Institute in 2016 as a professional hub for disabled leaders to build and support disability leaders. It is the first organisation of its kind globally, run by and for disability leaders. Christina advocates for the single largest minority group in the world and the UN reported that 15% of disabled people make up the global population, but Christina believes that it’s closer to 25%. In Australia, only four out of 900 parliamentarians have a disability, and only one is a woman.
Frighteningly, violence in the disability sector is endemic. About 90% of women with a cognitive disability will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, most of these women more than once. People with disabilities are often on the receiving end of discrimination and vilification. Christina has been a feminist since the age of eight and the women in her family have always been active in the women’s movement, including her grandmother. Christina grew up knowing she could change things and make a difference. She did her apprenticeship at home!
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