Women with Learning Disabilities: Equal & Healthy Lives

A banner that says Women With Learning Disabilties, Equal and Healthy Lives
Women with learning disabilities
Equal and Healthy Lives
17 June 2015


A cartoon group of 4 people together, one is in a wheelchair
Clare from Zero Tolerance went to the SCLD Equal and Healthy Lives Event in Glasgow.

There were more than 60 women with learning disabilities there.

There were also women from organisations that work for or with women.

The day was a chance for all these different women to talk to each other.

Clare went to listen to the women with learning disabilities.

Zero Tolerance wants to learn more about how to prevent violence against women with disabilities.

Clare learned a lot at the event.


Some of the most important things Clare learned are written like this!

The first part of the day was about Healthy Relationships. 

Lisa from Police Scotland spoke first about the different types of abuse that happen to women.

Lisa talked about how partners abuse woman.

This can include physical abuse like hitting or punching

It can be sexual abuse or rape.

Rape is forcing someone to have sex when she does not want to.

Abuse can also be mental or emotional abuse like name-calling.


Women with disabilities are TWICE as likely to experience abuse.
a cartoon of a police officer speaking to a sad person. The police officer has a speech bubble that says: Always speak to you face to face!

Lisa explained how women could report abuse to the police.

Click here to find out more.


If you are scared and need help right away call 999.

If a woman reports abuse, the police will always speak to her face to face without her partner.

A cartoon image of two happy people holding hands. Next Bianca Wood from People First gave a really great talk about healthy relationships.

Bianca said some very important things such as:



Healthy relationships should make us feel good about ourselves.

It is a never a woman's fault if we're treated badly.


Next we talked about Health and Wellbeing. 

A cartoon of a person with a speech bubble that says: is anyone hurting you


Isla, a nurse, gave a talk about women’s health. 

Isla explained many important things such as:


Woman have the right to ask for a female doctor or worker.

Health workers should regularly ask you if anyone is hurting you.


Fiona gave a Wellbeing Session.

She taught everyone how to do a simple relaxation exercise.

Everyone closed their eyes.

It was very relaxing.

A cartoon picture of a green apple and a yellow banana

Then everyone had a nice lunch together.


The last part of the day was called "Have your say".

A cartoon image of three people holding hands in the air.
We started with belly dancing!

Clare joined in the belly dancing.

It was really good to have some fun between talking about so many serious issues.
A cartoon image of sad looking man and woman couple, surrounded by five other people

Then there was a short play called "Too Many Questions".

Clare thought it was a good play.

It had good lessons, such as:


Women with learning disabilities want to go out and have fun too.

They want chances to meet new people.

They may want to have sex with their partners.

But sometimes other people don't let them.
Then everyone got in small groups to talk about important questions.

Clare's group talked about their experiences with sex and relationships.

We need to listen to women with learning disabilities about what they need!

Some things they might need are:
  • Information about their bodies
  • Information about sex
  • Private time with their partners
  • Other women to talk to about personal things like bodies, sex and relationships
  • To change public attitudes about women with learning disabilities


Changing public attitudes is one of the biggest things that could make women with learning disabilities safer and happier.
A group of 4 people together, with speech bubbles
At the end of the day, four women sat in the front of the room. They were:
People in the audience asked many different questions.

It was a very good discussion.
Cartoon image of a newspaper

Clare answered a question about the way that newspapers talk about women with learning disabilities.

Sometimes the newspapers are not responsible when they talk about people with learning disabilities.

It is important that newspapers use respectful language.

It is also important that newspapers tell the truth about women with learning disabilties.

One of Zero Tolerance's projects is to make newspapers better when they talk about ALL women.

And especially when they talk about violence against women.


Cartoon image of 7 people with smiley faces It was a really busy and valuable day.

It was good for Clare to learn more about the unique experiences of women with learning disabilities.

Clare has shared the things she learned with the other workers at Zero Tolerance.

It is very important to everyone at Zero Tolerance that every woman in Scotland has a chance for an Equal and Healthy Life.


To read more about the day and the other SCLD Learning Disability Week events, click here.
Big Thanks to SCLD for organising this important day!

*All images in this blog are from the graphic facilitation at the Equal and Healthy Lives Event.

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