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First photos and some videos from the celebratory event on 4th May

Our celebratory event was a great success – thank you very much for those who did make it and thank you too for those who sent messages / videos because they couldn’t make it.

 

photos taken by Wasi Daniju at the event are at the SOF flickr account but to give you an idea….

 

People seated in a very well lit room with full length windows with tent like white canopies overhead. lots of wooden floor space

At Greenwich Yacht Club photo by Ruth Gardiner, Chocolate Films

Watch this space, more videos coming later …and of the Eleanor and Sophie Memorial launch

Come join us in making a banner for #Processions

headshot of a woman (suffragette) with a cross behind in green and pruple colours

Artichoke will hold a series of banner making workshops led by Delaine Le Bas, a cross disciplinary artist who creates installations, performance, photography and film, at Blackfriars Settlement, 1 Rushworth Street, London SE1 ORB, on

Saturday 21st April, 14:00 – 16:30
Saturday 5th May, 14:00 – 16:30
Saturday 19th May, 14:00 – 16:30

The nearest accessible tube stop to Blackfriars Settlement is Southwark. Find more information on getting to the venue here.

For this workshop series, Artichoke invite members of Sisters of Frida, led by Delaine Le Bas, to make a unique centenary banner that will express the ideas, concerns and hopes of women in the 21st century. It is an opportunity to learn new skills from an experienced artist, make a unique, expressive banner to last and join thousands of women to celebrate 100 years of women having the vote at PROCESSIONS.

Please note: Participants attending these workshops should commit to attend all three workshops and are also invited to the PROCESSIONS London event on 10 June 2018.

PROCESSIONS is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in a mass participation artwork to celebrate one hundred years of votes for women. Artichoke invites women, those who identify as women and non-binary individuals across the UK to come together on the streets of Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh and London on Sunday 10th June 2018 to mark this historic moment in a living, moving portrait of women in the 21st century. PROCESSIONS is produced by Artichoke, the UK’s largest producer of art in the public realm, as part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary.

Delaine Le Bas is a cross disciplinary artist creating installations, performance, photography and film. She was one of the sixteen artists who were part of Paradise Lost The First Roma Pavilion Venice Biennale 2007. She worked with her late husband the artist Damian Le Bas on their installations Safe European Home? and projects Gypsy Revolution and Gypsy DaDa. Delaine created Romani Embassy in 2015. Delaine has created performance text works with her son the writer Damian James Le Bas. Her works have been included in Prague Biennale 2005 & 2007, Venice Biennale 2007 & 2017, Gwangju Biennale 2012, Zacheta National Gallery Of Art 2013, MWW Wroclaw Contemporary Art Museum 2014, The Third Edition Of The Project Biennial Of Contemporary Art D-0 Ark Underground Bosnia & Herzegovina 2015, Off Biennale Budapest 2015, Goteborg International Biennale For Contemporary Art Extended 2015, Critical Contemplations Tate Modern 2017.
Delaine is one of the curators for The First Roma Biennale 2018 and is an Associate Curator at 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning London U.K.

These workshops are one of Artichoke’s 10 banner commissions, as part of PROCESSIONS’ 100 Years 100 Banners programme. 100 women artists have been commissioned to make banners with community groups up and down the country in the lead-up to PROCESSIONS. The final banner made during these workshops will form part of PROCESSIONS, a mass participation artwork, and will go on to be publicly exhibited across the UK following the events.

Please contact Sisters of Frida, [email protected],  by Friday 20th April to register your place in the workshops.

Find out more and register to attend PROCESSIONS at www.processions.co.uk
Follow the event at @processions2018 / #PROCESSIONS2018

Participants are required to be available for all the workshops and are invited to travel to London to carry the banner at PROCESSIONS London 2018.
Refreshments will be provided.
Spaces are limited, and allocated on a first come first serve basis.

Invite to Sisters of Frida’s celebration May 4th 5.30pm Greenwich Yacht Club

I N V I T A T I O N Please come to our celebrations 4th May 2018 from 5.30 pm Greenwich Yacht Club 1 Peartree Way, Greenwich, London SE10 0BW (nearest tube station North Greenwich, Jubilee Line, accessible venue. Please let us know other access needs) http://greenwichweddingvenues.co.uk/ We will be celebrating the work of our peer lead facilitators project And remembering our sisters, Sophie Partridge and Eleanor Firman, in setting up a memorial fund in their names. Please RSVP to hello@sisofrida.org and let us know your access needs. Non alcoholic drinks will be served but there is a bar if you wish to buy your own drinks. Some snacks will be served

 

I N V I T A T I O N

Please come to our celebrations

4th May 2018 from 5.30 pm



Greenwich Yacht Club

1 Peartree Way, Greenwich, London SE10 0BW

(nearest tube station North Greenwich, Jubilee Line, accessible venue. Please let us know other access needs)

http://greenwichweddingvenues.co.uk/

We will be celebrating the work of our peer lead facilitators project

And remembering our sisters, Sophie Partridge and Eleanor Firman, in setting up a memorial fund in their names.

Please RSVP to [email protected] and let us know your access needs.

There will be BSL interpreters


Non alcoholic drinks will be served but there is a bar if you wish to buy your own drinks. Some snacks will be served

At #WOWLDN Festival 2018

There were quite a few disabled women at the Women of the World London Festival 2018, some of whom were connected to Sisters of Frida.

Here is Nidhi Goyal’s keynote speech at the Power & Protest: Art, Activism and Disability panel for Sisters of Frida

subtitles/captions to follow soon

here are the photos of the event from the Sisters of Frida’s Flickr account

and at the instagram account

WOW Festival Sisters of Frida Panel: Power & Protest: Art, Activism and Disability Sunday 11th March, 11.30am – 12.30pm

Power & Protest: Art, Activism and Disability

Blue Bar, Level 4, Royal Festival Hall
Sunday 11th March 11.30am – 12.30pm

From leadership on human rights to artwork informed by the politics of disability, disabled women are at the forefront of global grassroots activism. Come hear why any campaign for gender equality must include disabled women’s voices.

Asian woman wearing a white top, her hands are up in mid air in gesticulation.Key note speaker – Nidhi Goyal – Comedian and activist working on diability and gender rights. Nidhi is the founder and director of ‘Rising Flame’ a Mumbai based NGO working for disabled women and youth and is also the Sexuality and Disability Program Director at Mumbai-based non-profit Point of View. Appointed to the prestigious civil society advisory group of UN women’s Executive Director, she sits on the advisory board of “Voice” and on the board of AWID (Assoc. for Women’s Rights in Development).

 

white woman with hair tied back and sun glasses. she has a colourful scarf.Michelle Baharier is chairing this panel .

Alumni/Fellow of the Slade School of Fine Art and winner of the Julian Sullivan award, graduate of the School of Social Entrepreneurs and the University of the Arts.

She is a practicing visual/ performance Artist working with communities to make collective art works, exhibitions, public pieces and performance.

 

 

smiling woman in a red hijabNabihah Islam is a published poet and has worked alongside various theatres. Her short play, ‘Home is where the heart is‘ was performed at Theatre Deli and she recently brought the British Council’s Hijabi Monologues to the Bush Theatre. She is a British Council Fellow and worked alongside the Council of Europe as a human rights activist addressing gender violence in South Asian communities and advocating for gender rights. She co-founded two development organisations, both are recognised by the British Council as emerging organisations. Nabihah is completing her Masters in Creative Writing at Brasenose College, Oxford.

black and white photograph of an East Asian women looking to her right

Lucy Sheen is an actor, published writer, transracial adoptee and advocate for British East Asian artists and adoptee rights. Her play Under A Blood Red Moon was recently one of eight plays written by British East Asian playwrights to have been published by Oberon Books and the first anthology ever to be published in the UK of British East Asian Playwrights.

In 2015 she was one for four BAME writer|performers who presented work created under the RePlay bursary who performed an extract of about 20mins as part of Poetry International 2015.

white woman with dark curly hair looking at the camera with a slight smial

Jess Thom is a writer, performer and activist who co-founded Touretteshero in 2010 as a creative response to her experiences of life with Tourettes Syndrome. She has performed nationally and internationally, written a book, Welcome to Biscuit Land, and worked with museums, galleries and theatres to host large scale events for disabled and non-disabled children and young people

CEDAW: asking for help from disabled women

more information on CEDAW on SOF website

and on the Women Resource Centre

WRC contact:     Simma Rai [email protected]

SOF contact :  [email protected]

—————————————–

Our aim

The Government has to tell the United Nations about women’s rights in the UK.

 

We are collecting experiences from women across England to give to the United Nations. They will use these when they question the UK Government.

 

We want to be sure that disabled women are included. This report will reinforced what DDPOs wrote to the UNCPRD committee in last year’s examination in Geneva. But we will focus more on disabled women and girls’ issues.

 

Please tell us:

  • What the problems are, in your own words – we are interested in your personal experiences
  • Links to any evidence (research reports if you have them)
  • what the government has/has not done since the last time it reported in 2013, and
  • your recommendations for what needs to be done.

NB we are reporting on the period from 2013 to date.

 

We can only give a very short report to the United Nations – only 6,600 words!

We are interested in any information you can give us. Some of the areas that the UN will look at include:

 

 

  • Trafficking and Prostitution               
  • Healthcare – how the NHS supports accessibility of healthcare for disabled women
  • Political and Public Life – whether disabled women are properly represented
  • Economic and Social Benefits  – social security payments, universal credit, PIP etc
  • Rural Women – the special needs of women outside towns and cities including public transport, slow wifi speeds and access to disability services
  • Nationality  – special needs of disabled migrant women
  • Equality Before the Law – are disabled women equal?
  • Education – access to schools, colleges and university for disabled women and girls
  • Marriage and Family Life – disabled women’s rights to a family life
  • Employment – access to good quality work, and support to work (Access to Work)
  • Violence Against Women and Girls – particular problems for disabled women, for example, domestic violence, or such violence against disabled women

 

 

Your evidence will be published unless you tell us otherwise.

Let us know if you want:

☐ EITHER your evidence to be completely confidential, OR

☐ to be shared with the Equality and Human Rights Commission only.

 

Timescale

The deadline for evidence and information is 28 February 2018. Send your evidence to: [email protected]

There is more information here

General information – https://thewomensresourcecentre.org.uk/our-work/cedaw/

The Government’s own report is here –  http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/Download.aspx?symbolno=CEDAW%2fC%2fGBR%2f8&Lang=en

 

The last shadow report from women’s groups is here: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CEDAW/Shared%20Documents/GBR/INT_CEDAW_NGO_GBR_13333_E.pdf

 

If you have any questions please contact us.

Your experience

 

Any Links to Evidence? Yes/No

 

Has the Government taken action?

 

Your recommendations

 

CEDAW-shadow-report-template-for-written-evidence-from-disabled-women-final (Word doc. for downloading)
women resource centre logo

Sisters of Frida at Brussels ENIL Freedom Drive

Some Sisters of Frida went to ENIL 2017 Freedom Drive,  which brought together 300 Independent Living activists from 19 countries in Brussels.

Sisters of Frida behind the banner which says Sisters of Frida, Disabled Women's Collective. They are all wearing read teeshirts. Four wheelchair users.

Zara Todd, Lani Parker, Michelle Daley and Eleanor Lisney, and Rachel O’Brien (photo by Mladen Spremo)

It brought an an end to a week of promoting independent living, peer support, protest and celebration of disability rights. The Freedom Drive has brought together around 300 independent living activists from 19 countries, from as far East as Albania, to Norway in the North.

Among the main Freedom Drive demands were the end to institutionalisation of disabled people across Europe, access to personal assistance in all countries, full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the end to cuts to support services and benefits for disabled people.

Lani Parker and Michelle Daley said:

 

We also met some MEPs, Anthea McIntyre MEP, Keith Taylor MEP, Molly Scott-Cato MEP, Wajid Khan MEP, and Daniel Dalton MEP, among others to ask them questions on independent living, accessibility, inclusive education, disability rights after Brexit, freedom of labour as part of the EU among other issues.

with man in a squatting position, 3 women wheelchair users and one woman in front.

with Wajid Khan MEP (Labour), Rebecca Farren, Lani Parker, Tara Flood and Michelle Daley (photo by Katai)

2 wheelchair users (one  black woman and one white) at either end. 3 people on sofa, all white, one man 2 women)

Tweet from Molly Scott Cato MEP with Michelle Daley, (Green Party) Keith Taylor MEP, Molly Scott Cato MEP, Tara Flood and Lani Parker

The night before the march we met up with other British attendees for dinner, including Sarah Rennie (Sisters of Frida, Steering Group member) , who had to leave before the march.

People seated at table at restaurant

dinner with other British attendees of Freedom Drive (photo by Debbie)

people at dinner table at restaurant

dinner with other British attendees of Freedom Drive (2nd table) (photo by Debbie)

We were outside the European Parliament the next day to join the other ENIL Freedom marchers on the streets of Brussels.

Michelle (wearing the red tee ENIL teeshirt) with her hand raised up in a fist leading some of the procession

Michelle Daley leading some of the way. (photo by Katai)

Thank you all for all who came with us. Thank you for ENIL to organising this and we wish Zara Todd, as incoming director, the best for the future.

More photos at Sisters of Frida Flickr account.

A ‘human catastrophe’ – New UN condemnation for UK human rights record

The UK Government’s claim to be a ‘world leader in disability issues’ has today been crushed by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Committee has released damning Concluding Observations on the UK, following its first Review of the government’s compliance with the Convention.

The Observations conclude last week’s public examination of the UK Government’s record on delivering disabled people’s rights. The examination was declared by the UK rapporteur Mr Stig Langvad, to be “the most challenging exercise in the history of the Committee”. Mr Langvad raised deep concerns on the UK Government’s failure to implement the rights of disabled people. He also noted the government’s “lack of recognition of the findings and recommendations of the (2016) Inquiry” which found ‘grave and systematic violations of disabled people’s human rights’.

Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations (DDPOs) were hailed as the genuine “world leaders” for their efforts in bringing to light the injustices and human rights violations inflicted on disabled people in the UK.

The UK Delegation of Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations has issued the following joint statement:

“Today the UN(CRPD) Committee has, once again, condemned the UK Government’s record on Deaf and Disabled People’s human rights. They have validated the desperation, frustration and outrage experienced by Deaf and Disabled people since austerity and welfare cuts began. It is no longer acceptable for the UK Government to ignore the strong and united message of the disability community.

UK Government representatives committed during the review to rethinking the way they support Deaf and Disabled People to monitor our rights. We welcome this commitment.  However, we are clear that our involvement must be genuine and inclusive and that we cannot accept anything less than progress on delivering the human rights enshrined in the Convention, and denied us for too long.

DDPOs have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with following a long campaign of challenging the Government’s blatant disregard for the lives of Deaf and disabled people in the UK. The unity and solidarity demonstrated by the Committee and the UK Independent Mechanism in supporting our calls for justice continue to strengthen us.

Michelle Daley, a Director of Sisters of Frida, said –

“The rights of disabled women and girls have not been systematically mainstreamed in the UK. The UN is obviously recognising this.

The proper collection of disaggregated data has been repeatedly called for by UN rapporteurs. Gaps in data mask the multiple discrimination faced by disabled women.

We welcome the Committee’s recommendation that the State allocates resources to support representative organisations for disabled women and girls and secure our strategic involvement and contributions in legislation. Perhaps this would, in future, avoid abhorrent situations like the ‘best interests’ defence for carers committing coercive and controlling abuse which the Government introduced without consulting us.”

Notes to editors:

  •     The Concluding Observations are published on the Committee’s webpage (UK section) : http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/SessionDetails1.aspx?SessionID=1158&Lang=en
  •     DDPOs across the UK have worked in coproduction to collect evidence and compile the reports through the Review process. The delegation of DDPOs present in Geneva w/c 21st August 2017 included Disability Rights UK, Inclusion Scotland, Disability Wales, Disability Action Northern Ireland, the Reclaiming our Futures Alliance, British Deaf Association, People First Scotland, Alliance for Inclusive Education, Inclusion London, Disabled People Against Cuts, Equal Lives, Black Triangle, Sisters of Frida, Black Mental Health UK.
  •     Contributions were also received from Innovations in Dementia, HFT and Intersex NGO Coalition.
  •     On 23rd and 24th August the examination of the UK Government took place in Geneva, with the UN Committee on the Rights of Disabled People. The report of the dialogue can be found here, with links to submission documents: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21993&LangID=E
  •     The committee postponed its assessment of the UK (originally due in 2015) to investigate a complaint of the violation of disabled people’s rights as a result of welfare reform. This was brought under the optional protocol of the Convention. The findings expressed concern of grave and systematic violations of disabled people’s human rights. That investigation looked only at a part of the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People – with a particular focus on the impact of austerity measures and welfare reform. The Review looked at a much wider set of issues, including our laws on mental health and mental capacity, policies on employment and education and more.

Inquiry report, 2016: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/InquiryProcedure.aspx

  •     A lay person’s guide to the Review process and Examination can be found here: www.disabilitywales.org/crpd17
  •     Statistics about disabled women: http://www.sisofrida.org/resources/disabled-women-facts-and-stats/
  •     Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 created a new offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship. It is a defence for accused abusers to show that they believe their behaviour was in the victim’s best interests and reasonable.

Peer led skills development course for disabled women

women in groups - one at a table bsuy conversing with each other

At a Sisters of Frida event

Following our successful projects ‘Disabled women’s voices from the frontline’ and ‘Disability and Sexuality’, Sisters of Frida are excited to launch a new peer-led skills development course for disabled women, led by disabled women. This course is supported by a grant from Rosa, The UK Fund for Women and Girls.

 

The project will run from September 2017 until May 2018 and will give participants opportunities to

 

  • develop facilitation, presentation and research skills
  • gain and share knowledge in an area of interest
  • put this knowledge into practice
  • meet and work with new people

 

The project will be split into two parts. The first part will consist of three sessions aimed at building facilitation skills and confidence for the participants. We will then go on to design a number of further sessions tailored specifically to the needs of individuals within the group. You will have a mentor who will support you in gaining skills in the area of work which you are interested in. This could include building campaigns, arts and self-expression, challenging interpersonal violence – the possibilities are endless! You will then share the skills and knowledge through a workshop designed and led by you.

 

Where and when

The first part of the course will take place on the weekend of the 16-17th September at the YHA in Kings Cross, Central London. This will be a facilitation skills course.

 

The structure and timings of the following workshops will be agreed by the group following this initial training.

 

Who is it for?

The course is for any self-identified disabled women (trans, intersex and cis) non-binary and gender non-conforming people but not people who identify solely or primarily as men. Sisters of Frida follows the social model. We especially encourage people who do not have much previous experience in facilitation, public speaking and events-organising, and if interest exceeds spaces, we will prioritise those with less experience.

 

There are limited spaces on this program. If you think you may be interested, please get in touch by the 1st of September. Please tell us a little bit (just a few words) about what you’re interested in and why you would like to participate.

If you need a BSL interpreter or other access needs, please let us know asap.

Contact: [email protected] / 07876 742600

Empty Room with a long rounded end table with 12 black chairs. There are pictures on the light walls.

Meeting room at the YHA, 79-81 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2QE

Zara Todd to Brussels as new ENIL Director!

Sisters of Frida would like to give huge congratulations to Zara Todd for her new post as the incoming director of ENIL.

She will be taking over from Jamie Bolling, who has been a great supporter of Sisters of Frida. We give her our best wishes for her next plans and some of us hope to see her at this years Freedom Dive in Brussels.

We’re happy that Zara will continue as one of the Sisters of Frida’s directors.

 

Zara (in white rainwear) with Sisters of Frida  Eleanor with banner , Lucia behind Eleanor with stipey umbrella and Ines (from ECCL) behind Zara. Miro is also there with PA and Kate, with black umbrella

Zara (in white rainwear) with Sisters of Frida at the 2013 Freedom Drive in Strasbourg,  Eleanor with banner , Lucia behind Eleanor with black stripey umbrella and Ines (from ECCL) behind Zara. Miro (from ENIL) is also there with his PA and Kate, with black umbrella

 

Zara with John Evans at Freedom Drive in Brussels 2015 . Shes wearing the Freedom Drive tee shirt under her coat

Zara with John Evans at Freedom Drive in Brussels 2015