Autism Women Matter was founded in 2013, as a response to the need for advocacy for those women within the United Kingdom, who have been diagnosed as being autistic, or having an autism spectrum condition.
Many women have gone through life not understanding themselves as individuals and realising they are on the autistic spectrum can be life-changing. To find out that all those feelings of being different, not quite fitting in and continual rejections were not their imagination but the result of undiagnosed autism can be a defining moment in life. Too often, women accept exclusion and discrimination they face because they have not adopted a rights-bearing attitude.
Our advocacy through 2013/2014 focused on diagnosis, inclusion in statutory guidance for the Autism Act 2009 and autistic mothers. We attended meeting with and held by the Department of Health, policymakers for Autism Strategy, All Parliamentary Group For Autism and national autism charities. Invitations to present our advocacy goals included the United Nations (Switzerland) and World Human Rights Forum (Morocco).
Advocacy expanded, and continues to expand through 2015/ 2016 through community participatory research on ‘Autism and motherhood’ with Cambridge University, submissions on autistic women needs through United Nations bodies, presentations and meeting participation in United States of America, Morocoo, Switzerland, England and France.
The achievements of Autism Women Matter is through networking, systemic advocacy and contributions by women through our survey and social media.