This International Women’s Day, Her Abilities, the first global award honouring the achievements of women with disabilities, has opened its call for nominations for 2019.

The Award is a pioneering initiative, launched in 2018, by disability rights organisation Light for the World and Right Livelihood Award winner and activist Yetnebersh Nigussie.

In its hugely successful first year, the Award received nearly 400 nominations, highlighting the stories of 158 women from 52 countries around the globe, and our high-profile, independent jury chose three exceptional winners from Zambia, Bangladesh and Nigeria.

We’re now looking for more inspiring women to lead the way in showcasing the incredible ABILITIES of women with a disability – in the words of Yetnebersh; we want the world to “focus on a person’s 99 abilities and not on one disability”!

To nominate a woman with a disability who has achieved greatness in their life or field of work, click on this link:

The 2018 winners

Arts, Culture and Sport

The winner in Arts, Culture and Sport was Zambian filmmaker and human rights activist Musola Cathrine Kaseketi. She is Zambia’s first female professional film director, with a strong focus on work which addresses social issues affecting women with disabilities.


Ashrafun Nahar won in the Rights category. She is the founder of the Women with Disabilities Development Foundation (WDDF) in Bangladesh. The WDDF aims to give women with disabilities there a voice, and to create equal opportunities in education, employment and, most significantly, domestic policy-making.

Health and Education

The winner in the Health and Education category was Dr Toyin Janet Aderemi. Dr Ademeri is the first person in a wheelchair in Nigeria to study and practice pharmacy, and has an expertise in disability-inclusive sexual and reproductive health and rights.

The 2019 jury

The jury for the Her Abilities Award is made up of influential women with and without disabilities from different fields of life; from Mariam Doumbia, of blind musical duo Amadou & Mariam, to Haben Girma, the first deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School and President Obama’s White House Champion of Change.

You can learn more about the 2018 winners here:, and our jury here: