Bringing disabled women together, mobilising
and sharing through lived experiences

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About Sisters of Frida

Explanation of Sisters of Frida’s logo:

The Kolibri or Hummingbird is a symbol for accomplishing that which seems impossible. For the native Americans, the bird is a symbol of rebirth, and of resurrection. It brings special messages for us, in its capacity of going in any direction; the only creature that can stop while traveling at full speed and the only bird that can fly backwards as well as forwards, up and down.

Frida had a special connection with this bird. She painted her eyebrows in the arc of the wings of the hummingbird, perhaps identifying herself with the extraordinary life skills of this colourful, tiny and vulnerable bird with the heart of an eagle. The logo is set in a stamp which fits the idea of the kolibri being a messenger… 

(logo designed and explained by Frieda Van de Poll)

Sisters of Frida CIC is an experimental co operative of disabled women. We want a new way of sharing experiences, mutual support and relationships with different networks.

Sisters of Frida started at a meeting when we floated the idea of having a disabled women’s group. It took some time to come together – the co founders were Eleanor Lisney, Michelle Daley, Eleanor Firman, Maria Zedda, Svetlana Kotova, Frieda Van De Poll and Martine Miel. We became a CIC in 2014.

We are seeking to build a/or different networks of disabled women.  The barriers and multiple discrimination have not changed, we struggle to have our voices heard as disabled women in our own rights.

We would like a sisterhood, a circle of disabled women to discuss, share experiences and explore intersectional possibilities.

Meet the Steering Group

website: Sisofrida.org

email: hello@sisofrida.org

Twitter: @sisofrida

Our Privacy Notice

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sisofrida/

Forum registration

Why Sisters of Frida?

We took a long time deliberating on a name. We are disabled women but that is not our only identity – we are also embracing the whole package of being women and disabled. And we believe strongly in the social model of disability. We want to celebrate the difference of being of different ethnic origins, different cultures and nationalities, of different sexual orientation, of being mums, having partners and being single women. We are creative and our creativeness is born from our identities – of the very pain of being impaired and disabled at times. But we are not victims.

Hence we found a role model in Frida Kahlo. She is not one immediately associated with disability and yet her art was filled with images of the crippled body. She was also an activist and she wanted a life full of love, of relationships. In her art we also glimpse the dark landscape of her mental health in the aftermath of still births and in her stormy relationship with Diego Riveria.

We can strive to live our lives as full as she did.

14 women in front of the Sisters of Frida banner, some in wheelchairs. and one baby held in mother's arms

Group photo at the end of the AGM 2016



The previous website can be found at https://sisofrida.wordpress.com/

24 responses to “About Sisters of Frida”

  1. This blog is really great inspiration for disabled women for Inclusion,Society for Disabled Women Pakistan is striving for uplift of disabled women basic rights and recognition in marginalized communities in Pakistan since 1997. SDW Pakistan also working for promotion of Inclusive Education and mobilizing disabled children girls and boys from poor families to have access for primary education in public and private schools.
    We would be happy to learn more for information and knowledge.
    Best Wishes for 2012.

  2. Thank you Eleanor for sharing this site with me it is inspirational. I would really like to swop links with you if you feel this is in keeping with your philosophy. I founded the EDF Womens Committee and was awarded a grant to develop the web site. I am glad you like it.

    Let me know if I can support you in any way.

    Anne Pridmore

  3. Noreen Donohue says:

    I am a disabled woman living in Oregon, USA.. I would very much like to connect with other disabled women and share stories. Thank you,

  4. Claire Debenham says:

    A very impressive set of women and a great blog/webiste. I hope to follow your activties and join in debates now i have found you.

  5. Sindr says:

    I’ve been keeping tabs on the Sisters for some time now, and wonder if there’s any way the layperson can get involved? Donations? Some sort of press or fundraising or publications or exhibitions (I’m an artist?) I have been rather discouraged of late with the disabled movement, especially as a Woman of Colour – the “woman” and “colour” seems to get flung in my face on a regular basis and I’m weary, but still determined. Would love to hear if there’s anything I can do, so I can get more involved.

    • elle says:

      hiya! thanks for your interest. What do you mean a ‘layperson’? do you consider yourself disabled? we would love to have you involved. where are you based?

      • Sindr says:

        I mean layperson in that I am a Bear of Little Brain – I’m not very good at giving convincing, detailed, scientific arguments and research, and reading up on the current laws confound me a fair bit (cogitation issues). I’m based on the Wilts/Dorset border, and know a few disabled people in the area.

        • elle says:

          we are a group of disabled and allied women – not at all for those for giving ‘ convincing, detailed, scientific arguments and research’. some of us are but definitely not all of us. We hope to build new ways of connecting with each other. We have been very slow about getting started because all of us are busy in our own worlds but we are trying. I ll send you an invite through your email -if thats ok?

  6. kokub sheikh says:

    Wow!!!! how impressive to read all your profiles and to know there is a network of positive disabled women out there.

    I am desperate to learn more about you guys and get involved. I feel so isolated and can do with being involved with positive forward thinking women who have the knowhow.

  7. eleanor parkes says:

    hi i am a young disabled woman in birmingham uk (also named eleanor!) and i would really like to get involved, is there any way i could join or support?

  8. […] are also very proud of our association with Sisters of Frida and we salute all fellow sisters for their tireless work in equality and human rights of disabled […]

  9. […] Others focused on the structural problems: the need both to hear and heed women including the voices of the most marginalised and for this to become a reality mechanisms are needed – at national, regional and international levels. This is part and parcel of the access to and for civil society – ways to speak power to the rulers. Several focused on the rather ignored issue of the huge demographic shift to aging populations not just in the north but everywhere. “There is a great need for gender disaggregated statistics beyond age 60 and by 5 year cohorts; older people comprise almost 3 generations and those at the lower end have very different circumstance and needs to those at a very good age! Our diversity can only be recognized if it is counted!” – Elizabeth Sclater, Network of Older Women, Europe. Similarly, marital status is not one of the categories normally used in statistical analysis and feminists have fought against it, but without it we cannot count widows or see the impact of early and forced marriage or measure the continuing consequences of divorce. In the same vein there must be data on disabled people. ‘Progress needs to be measured and people need to be held accountable if persons with disabilities are left behind’ – Inter-Agency Expert Group on SDGs via Eleanor Lisney – Sisters of Frida. […]

  10. Laurel says:

    Hello from Canada,
    I just found out about your collective/co-operative as I was researching accessible travel & saw an article by Eleanor… I have been the mother of a girl with disabilities for almost 2 decades, and have been a women with disabilities (some invisible) since 2008. Since that time, my family has been active in support of diversity awareness in my community, and also raised money for charities pursuing a diversity-friendly agenda. It is exciting to be able to read about your journey as A group of women friends have been meeting for about 2 years now and defining our direction… Something that grew out of the brain injury support group I belong to. We have started with recreation/social as many of these women are socially isolated and wanted more. Does anyone know of disabled women’s groups in Canada that might be doing things like you are? Thx! LL

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