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At UN #CSW60

Two Sisters of Frida were at New York city for the ~UN  Committee for Status of Women #CSW60 – here are some of the sessions we took part there.

At Sustainable Development Goals or Sidelining Disabled Girls? Making SDGs Stand for All Women and Girls This side event was sponsored by Women Enabled International, Sisters of Frida & Women with Disabilities India Network

Commission on the Status of Women – CSW60 Side Event
Title: Sustainable Development Goals or Sidelining Disabled Girls? Making SDGs Stand for All Women and Girls
Date and Time: Thursday, March 17 2:30 PM
Location: Church Center of the United Nations – Boss Room, 770 United Nations Plaza New York, NY

The SDGs offer a valuable platform to advance dialogues with States around key areas that impact the lives of women & girls. Yet, despite accounting for almost one-fifth of all women worldwide, disabled women and girls receive scant attention. As the global community undertakes the crucial task of identifying indicators to monitor progress toward the realization of the SDGs & hold States accountable for these commitments, it is essential that this process includes the voices of disabled women  which reflects their experiences of intersecting forms of discrimination. This panel addresses four SDGs that bear on the rights of women with disabilities: Goal 1 (Poverty), Goal 3 (Health), Goal 5 (Gender Equality), & Goal 16 (Peace & Justice). Panelists will discuss barriers that disabled women  face in realizing their rights as they relate to these goals & will address how SDG indicators can better reflect the realities of disabled women  moving forward.

Eleanor Lisney (UK) – Goal 1 (Poverty) – impact on disabled women of government program cuts –

SDG goal 1. poverty transcript

At A Dialogue: Survivors in a disabling environment: what does empowerment of disabled women mean globally?

Date and Time: Thursday, March 24 12:30 PM
Location: Church Center of the United Nations – Chapel, 770 United Nations Plaza New York, NY
This panel will be discussing what would empowerment of disabled women mean locally, nationally and globally. We will try to include voices of disabled women (short video clips) from different parts of the world stating what it means to them.
Clip from Khairani Barokka (Indonesia)

Clip from Dr Huhanna Hickey (New Zealand)

 Clip from Jamie Bolling, European Network of Independent Living (ENIL)

We will use the Social Model of Disability; that is to say it is systemic barriers, negative attitudes and exclusion by society (purposely or inadvertently), that disable us. We will also look at the different nuances of violence against disabled women, the different forms of abuse and how disabled women in particular are affected. How they survive inspite of having to face numerous challenges/barriers wherever they are in the world.
Speakers
Alexia Manombe-Ncube (Namibia)
Alexia is the Deputy Minister of Disability Affairs in the office of Vice President, Namibia. Recently appointed by President Hage Geingob to handle the affairs of physically challenged people, Manombe-Ncube has appealed to stakeholders to highlight the plight of the country’s disabled people in order for her to realise her ministerial declaration of intent. She also urged stakeholders to apply all their energy towards the empowerment and development of the disabled and specifically to close the gender equality gap.
She champions those in the rural areas saying disabled are have less resources and left to crawl because they do not have wheelchairs like people in the cities. Alexia will be speaking on the status of disabled in Naimbia and her own empowerment as a minister.

Lucia Bellini (UK)
Lucia currently works as an advocate for disabled people who are victims of domestic violence. She is also a Disability Rights Advocate where she assists people to access care packages, to be re-housed, to apply for benefits and to appeal against decisions they are not happy with. She has a masters in Global Citizenship, Identity and Human Rights from the University of Nottingham. In 2008 to 2010, she worked with disabled people’s organisations in Guyana where she provided disability equality and project management training to many disabled people throughout the country. She is particularly passionate about ensuring disabled women feel empowered and equipped to make their own choices. Lucia will be speaking about disabled women caught up in domestic violence in the UK.

Michelle Baharier (UK)
Michelle (UK) is a visual artist and disabled activist with lived experience of mental-distress for over three decades. She set up and ran a disabled lead arts organisation changing the way disabled people were perceived in the main stream.
She has worked with women’s organisations and on a telephone help line for women affected by violence, and with women from a variety of cultures including the Poppy Project which supports women who have been trafficked to the UK, the Diane project for Iranian women who need a safe place to be due to violence. Michelle will speak about her work with mental health survivors and their struggle for empowerment.

Suzannah Phillips (USA)
Suzannah is the Legal Advisor for Women Enabled International. Her work focuses on legal advocacy with the United Nations and other international and regional forums to strengthen human rights standards on the rights of women and girls with disabilities. Prior to joining WEI, Suzannah was the International Women’s Human Rights Clinical Fellow at CUNY School of Law, Legal Adviser for International Advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), and a Human Rights Fellow with VIVO POSITIVO in Santiago, Chile. She is currently a member of the International Human Rights Committee at the New York City Bar Association. Suzannah received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and her B.A. in Social Anthropology from Harvard University. Suzannah will be speaking on how different legal instruments can be used to support empowerment of disabled women especially with Women Enabled International’s work.

Questions/comments

 

Dieuwertje Dyi Huijg: Coming out as disabled: Body Image, labels and denial of disability – panel speech at WOW 2016

[Screaming:]

 

IS THERE A​NYBODY HERE WHO IS NOT DISABLED, ILL, PREGNANT, OR FOR ANOTHER REASON NEEDS TO SIT DOWN, AND WOULDN’T MIND TO GIVE UP THEIR SEAT? THANK YOU.

By the time the train gets to my station, there are normally no seats left. Often I need to sit down to save energy to get to work and, well, work. When I go to town to work, I go to university to teach. Teaching is a profession as well as a performance: you give it your 200% in a compressed amount of time, having half of your energy simply won’t cut it.

Apart from this swollen and somewhat bruised eye right now, people assess me as a healthy, young, white, heterosexual, middle classed and generally privileged woman. True. Except that I’m not healthy (well, nor young or straight). Apart from the moments I am so utterly exhausted it looks like my eyes will pop out, puke on someone’s lap, or faint if I stand any longer on my feet, —none which normally will happen as I try to wait till I get off the train to crash or return the contents of my intestines to the world—, people feel no inclination whatsoever to stand up for me. Hell, unless someone is pregnant, looks like their eyes pop out, they faint or puke on my lap, are old and deserved their seat-stickers, walk with a cane, look like they’ve been doing some hard physical work all day, I just want to sit and read my book with Arial 20. Just because I’ve the energy levels of a snail on weed, doesn’t mean I’m a saint!

I have an invisible disability. I am invisibly disabled.

I sometimes compare the status of “being invisibly disabled” with that of having a femme identity. I identify as a femme dyke, even though I left my stiletto heels at home, because, arthritis. In your eyes, though, I’m probably the average straight chick on the panel. The queer politics, lesbian coming out hurdles and the drama of my ever-search for The Right Butch in my attempts to adhere to 2016’s dyke normativity of gay marriage aside, ultimately being a femme dyke provides me fun –whether visible to you or not. Dresses and snogging hot women and so forth.

Truth is, not so much with my health shit. Sure, having a bit of vertigo now and then gives The Butch a reason to hold me tight and protect me from an unbalanced world. I’m emancipated like that and know when to take advantage of my disabilities. But, really – not really.

According to the social model of disability, my participation in society would be equal with the priority seats and the “Look at my face, you can’t see it but I’m disabled”-pass. I don’t have a pass that proves that I’m disabled. If you can’t see it in my face, how do you know I’m disabled? If you don’t know that I’m disabled – am I disabled?

Every time that I enter the carriage, do not find an empty seat, then scream out loud in the hope that someone, always a man, stands up for me feeling gentlemanly, saving the ill and maybe even contributing to Justice, I go through an identity crisis. Yes, afraid that no one will stand up and I’ve to use spoons I don’t have in reserve, but also ashamed and guilty because, having grown up in a society where you simply man up your illness, endure your shit, because “normal is crazy enough”, somewhere in me I don’t believe I am sufficiently ill. That I am allowed to identify as disabled. That I am allowed to force others to take responsibility for their abled privilege. Coming out as disabled, I make a difference visible; where you stand up so I can sit down.

Rationally, I think that after 13ys of a variation of chronic health shit I’ve earned my stripes. But if I’m disabled, but you can’t see it, how do you know you’re abled …when you look just like me? And when you look just like me, how can I be disabled?

Because you have a bit of a headache. And your feet hurt after a day work. And you can’t remember everything. And you’re tired a bit. And without glasses you can’t see shit. And when you drink too much coffee your stomach is upset. And when you’re in a pub, your friend needs to scream for you to hear it. So, you know what it is like.

And if you know what it is like, then you know my experience. And if you know my experience, you can judge me. So if you’re not disabled, and didn’t you know what it was like?, then I’m not disabled.

Despite the promises of the social model, it is my busy relation with the NHS, the cocktail of drugs I take, the compilation of chronic illnesses, symptoms and side effects I live with, and the continuous rollercoastery adjustments to reality, desires and hopes, that contribute to what I so eloquently have categorised as Health Shit. Coming out as disabled doesn’t change much about the invisibility of my disabilities and experiences. You standing up to offer me your seat doesn’t end my identity crisis, eliminate assessing looks, or possibly solve the normativity of abledness, but, hell, it does give me a break.

DyiPresentation by Dieuwertje Dyi Huijg for the panel “Coming out as disabled: Body Image, labels and denial of disability”, Women of the World Festival 12/3/ 2016.

Dyi Huijg has coordinated, organised and facilitated networks, meetings and workshops in various social movements internationally (Latin America and Europe) and nationally (The Netherlands). In 2009 she moved from Amsterdam to the UK to do her PhD in Sociology, at the University of Manchester, about power relations and inequality, agency and social structure, and activism and social change. She also started to teach on a variety of topics, among which gender, sexuality, relationships and personal life. Currently she teaches at the University of Westminster. When she moved to London in 2013, she started to facilitate more professionally, followed train-the-trainer workshops, gained a person-centred certificate in Facilitation of Therapeutic Groups (LC&CTA), and is currently in the process of completing a Group Facilitation Certificate (Gestalt Centre). She has facilitated for London Roots Collective and is currently facilitating a lesbian, bi and trans women coming-out group in London.

 

Sustainable Development Goals or Sidelining Disabled Girls? Making SDGs Stand for All Women and Girls

Please come to support us 
Commission on the Status of Women – CSW60 Side Event
Title: Sustainable Development Goals or Sidelining Disabled Girls? Making SDGs Stand for All Women and Girls
Date and Time: Thursday, March 17 2:30 PM
Location: Church Center of the United Nations – Boss Room, 770 United Nations Plaza New York, NY

The SDGs offer a valuable platform to advance dialogues with States around key areas that impact the lives of women & girls. Yet, despite accounting for almost one-fifth of all women worldwide, women and girls with disabilities receive scant attention. As the global community undertakes the crucial task of identifying indicators to monitor progress toward the realization of the SDGs & hold States accountable for these commitments, it is essential that this process includes the voices of women with disabilities& reflects their experiences of intersecting forms of discrimination. This panel addresses four SDGs that bear on the rights of women with disabilities: Goal 1 (Poverty), Goal 3 (Health), Goal 5 (Gender Equality), & Goal 16 (Peace & Justice). Panelists will discuss barriers that women with disabilities face in realizing their rights as they relate to these goals & will address how SDG indicators can better reflect the realities of women with disabilities moving forward.
Speakers:
Asha Hans (India) – Goal 16 (Peace & Justice) – impact of conflict on women and girls with disabilities, especially those who are refugees
Eleanor Lisney (UK) – Goal 1 (Poverty) – impact on women with disabilities of government program cuts
Andrea Parra (Colombia) – Goal 3 (Health) – sexual and reproductive health and rights, including forced sterilization and access to health care for women and girls with disabilities
Adaobi Egboka (Nigeria) – Goal 5 (Gender Equality) – Gender-based and sexual violence and access to justice for women and girls with disabilities
Stephanie Ortoleva (USA) – Welcome and Conclusion
Suzannah Phillips (USA) – Moderator ​
Sponsors:
Women Enabled International, Sisters of Frida & Women with Disabilities India Network
Logos
 

For more information: Email Info@WomenEnabled.org or hello@sisofrida.org

Sisters of Frida at #WOWLdn

This year is amazing! so many of us will be at the WoW festival this weekend! do go along and support -if you can get a ticket!

Coming out as disabled: Body Image, labels and denial of disability

One in five of us is disabled – so why do we try to hide it from our friends? How do we ‘come out’ as disabled women?

side profile of Zara Todd

Zara Todd

Venue Level 4 Blue Bar at Royal Festival Hall

Time 11:15am – 12:15pm

Date Saturday 12 March 2016

One in five of us is disabled – so why do we try to hide it from our friends? How do we ‘come out’ as disabled women? Four women tell their stories. Speakers include Deborah Williams, Diversity Manager BFI; Dieuwertje Dyi Huijg, Visiting Lecturer, Sociology at University of Westminster and Rebecca Bunce, human rights researcher and campaigner.

 

Chaired by Zara Todd, disability rights campaigner and activist.

In partnership with Sisters of Frida.

Others

Sexism Makes Us Sick Examining Woman’s health

Annabel

Annabel Crowley

Venue St Paul’s Roof Pavilion at Royal Festival Hall

Time3:45pm – 4:45pm

Date Saturday 12 March 2016

Examining women’s health Heart disease kills more women than men each year, fewer women than men survive a heart attack, so why do we hear so little about it? In mental health, women are more than twice likely than men to have depression and less likely to be taken seriously. How does gender affect physical and mental health care and what can we do to change the status quo? Speakers include Bridget Hargreaves, author of post natal depression memoir Fine Not Fine; Dr Victoria Showunmi, lecturer on migraines at the UCL Institute of Education.

 

Chaired by Annabel Crowley.

Toilets are a Feminist Issue

Sarah Rennie head shot

Sarah Rennie

Venue St Paul’s Roof Pavilion at Royal Festival Hall 

Time2:15pm – 3:15pm

Date Saturday 12 March 2016

Come and find out why you should give a shit about toilets. From women always having to queue, to the lack of toilet facilities in the developing world having a devastating effect on women’s safety, what can toilet provision tell us about gender equality? Come and join the grand doyenne of public toilets Prof. Clara Greed; award winning writer and feminist Beatrix Campbell; Changing Places campaigner and disabled feminist Sarah Rennie and periods activist and founder of #periodpostive Chella Quint to discuss. Beware – there may be toilet humour.

Chaired by New Statesman Deputy Editor, Helen Lewis.

Type of event
Talks and debates
Running Time
60 mins

Chores Wars and Domestic Lives

pauline with umbrella

Pauline Latchem (photo from Eleanor Lisney)

 

Venue The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall 

Time1:15pm – 2:15pm

Date Sunday 13 March 2016

Studies show that women still do twice as many chores as male partners, even when they work full-time. From housework to ‘emotional labour’, is this one of the last frontiers of normalised gender inequality? And how can we level the playing field? Speakers include counseller and lifelong feminist Pauline Latchem, and teacher and writer Lola Okolosie.

Chaired by Laura Bates, founder Everyday Sexism Project.

 

 

Black Feminisms/Black Women Pop Culture

Becky Olaniyi

Becky Olaniyi

Venue Level 3 Foyer (Green Side) at Royal Festival Hall 

Time4:00pm – 5:00pm

Date Sunday 13 March 2016

What does the portrayal of black women in popular culture tell us about race, sex and power? Join journalist and campaigner Reni Eddo Lodge, visual sociologist Emma Dabiri, activist Becky Olaniyi and playwrite Adura Onashile as they discuss the joys and challenges of being a black feminist.

Chaired by Senior Programmer, Contemporary Culture and journalist Hannah Azieb Pool

Rebecca and Zara at Youth Action Festival, Dec 2015

We were asked if Sisters of Frida works with young people and yes, we do. Becky Olaniyi was very much in the picture as part of the Steering Group until she rolled into university and have too much on with university work and getting used to campus life.

And we recently had a thank you note to Zara Todd for Rebecca’s and their  workshop ‘Gender and Disability Discrimination’  at the Youth Action Festival

 

“... but I wanted to say a huge thank you for everything you did for the Youth Action Festival in December. I wanted to thank you and your colleague for giving up your Saturday and providing such a meaningful contribution to the day. We really could not have made the event the success it was without you.

 

Overall the event was a huge success. Please do have a look at the quotes from evaluation forms on the attached letter that give a flavour of what an incredible impact the day had on participants.

 

We also used the solutions that young people put forward during the day and the learning from the day to shape the policy and ideas for our Learn Without Fear UK campaign this year. You can see our campaign and policy content on our web pages and in articles in the press Daily Telegraph Wonder Women section, Metro.co.uk, Huffington Post, Good Housekeeping and the Daily Express.

Thank you Zara and Rebecca!

 

Rebecca at a table with a group

Rebecca

Zara with a reddish jumper at a table with other girls

Zara

Photo Credit: Plan International//Jessica McDermott

Why Sisters of Frida?

logo: picture of a green and yellow bird with a blue background in a stamp like frame, perforated edge.

Sisters of Frida CIC is an experimental collective 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.

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

See our last AGM with the new Steering Group.

Sisters of Frida AGM 6th Feb 2016

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

 

We had a great turn out for the annual meeting at Blackfriars Settlement last Saturday. The venue was great, spacious for our needs and had good access. Not everybody could stay the whole time.

We have a nice lunch and the meeting proceeded well with Eleanor giving an introduction and welcoming new people, reporting on activities in the past year. Lani and Dyi spoke about the Sexuality and disability workshop before we had a short break. Sarah then gave a presentation on the Sisters of Frida’s structure and lead the discussion on how to proceed to work in the future. There was great enthusiasm on the idea of a ‘family’  – on the discussion for a name for supporters and donations. It continued on to what Sisters of Frida did and does as a collective and ended with a question and answers session before time ran out.

There was a short Steering Group meeting with old and new members before it was time to clear up and out of the venue.

The Steering Group 2016

Annabel Crowley

Armineh Soorenian

Dyi Huijg

Eleanor Lisney

Kirsty Liddiard

Lucia Bellini

Michelle Daley

Rebecca Bunce

Sarah Rennie

Sophie Partridge

Zara Todd

 

many thanks to Obi for livestreaming for us – some sisters could not make it to the meeting.

here are the links if you want to watch

http://bambuser.com/v/6084341

http://bambuser.com/v/6084446

Meeting Minutes Meeting minutes SoF_AGM2016

Steering Group

Directors

Eleanor Lisney is a founder member and coordinator of Sisters of Frida. She is an access advisor, an NUJ member on the New Media Industrial Council and the Equality Council. She is also on the British Council Disability Advisory Panel and the web team of the International Network of Women with Disabilities. She enjoys being on the EVA (Electronic Visualisation & the Arts) London organising committee.

Michelle Daley has over ten years experience working in the field of disability. She has worked for a number of organisations at local, national and international levels to develop, promote and implement policies on equality and diversity. She was one of the founder members of Sisters of Frida. Her work has played a major role in promoting and influencing the inclusion of disabled people in the mainstream society.
Michelle was a former member of Equality 2025, the Independent Living Scrutiny Group and currently a trustee of Independent Living Alternative. She has passionately worked at the grass root level addressing issues such as access, education, independent living and cultural diversity.

Zara ToddZara Todd has been involved in young peoples and disability rights since she was 12 and has worked both in the UK and internationally trying to increase the voice of young disabled people.

Zara is currently chair of Inclusion London, a Deaf and disabled people’s organisation supporting Deaf and Disabled people’s organisation in London. She is an active member of the European Network on Independent Living running several trainings for young disabled people from across Europe.
Zara currently advises on youth participation for the Council for Disabled Children and disability equality for the British Council. Previously she has worked for or advised a number of organisations including ALLFIE, Equal lives, the Council of Europe, KIDS, SCOPE and Transport for London.

Steering Group Members

AnnabelAnnabel Crowley grew up as a young carer, and started working in the field of disability at the age of 17. She has supported disabled students in FE and HE, and is currently employed by the Disability Service at University of the Arts London. Annabel has also worked in the charity sector, including several years coordinating a user-led, community-based social activities programme at Hammersmith and Fulham Mencap. With experience in designing and delivering training, advocacy work, project management and youth participation, Annabel hopes to bring both skills and enthusiasm to the Sisters of Frida steering group.

 

armineh

Armineh Soorenian completed her doctoral study at University of Leeds, Centre for Disability Studies in November 2011. In November 2013 her book ‘Disabled International Students in British Higher Education: Experiences and Expectations’ was published by Sense Publishing House. Soorenian has published, presented her work, delivered workshops and guest lectured on inclusive education at international level.

Soorenian is an independent researcher, with particular interest in: inclusive education, disabled women’s experiences, disability arts and representations, disability and gender, and disability hate crime. Soorenian works with organisations such as the British Council, West Yorkshire Police and other organisations on an ad-hoc basis.

Dyi Dyi Huijg has coordinated, organised and facilitated networks, meetings and workshops in various social movements internationally (Latin America and Europe) and nationally (The Netherlands). In 2009 she moved from Amsterdam to the UK to do her PhD in Sociology, at the University of Manchester, about power relations and inequality, agency and social structure, and activism and social change. She also started to teach on a variety of topics, among which gender, sexuality, relationships and personal life. Currently she teaches at the University of Westminster. When she moved to London in 2013, she started to facilitate more professionally, followed train-the-trainer workshops, gained a person-centred certificate in Facilitation of Therapeutic Groups (LC&CTA), and is currently in the process of completing a Group Facilitation Certificate (Gestalt Centre). She has facilitated for London Roots Collective and is currently facilitating a lesbian, bi and trans women coming-out group in London

 

Kirsty Liddiard Kirsty Liddiard is currently a Research Associate within the Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth, in the School of Education at the University of Sheffield. Prior to this post, Kirsty became the inaugural Ethel Louise Armstrong Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Kirsty’s research explores the intimate lives of disabled people. Her interests sit primarily at the intersections of disability, impairment and embodiment and gender, sexuality, love, intimacy and citizenship in contemporary dis/ableist cultures (Liddiard 2016 2015; 2014; 2013a; 2013b). As a public sociologist (see Burowoy 2013) and activist scholar, Kirsty centres co-production in her research, and views the effective, ethical and accessible communication of knowledge as a form of social, political, and economic justice. She lives happily in a little village with The Boy and The Kid.

 

laniLani Parker has worked on disability issues in various capacities including taking part in campaigns, facilitating training, and working within disabled people’s organisations in the areas of advice, information and advocacy. She has a particular passion for doing the work of connecting social justice issues.
She hopes that Sisters of Frida will benefit from her experience as a disabled woman and commitment to disability justice in a broad sense.
She is excited to use her skills to contribute towards tackling some of the concrete issues that disabled women face.

LuciaLucia Bellini currently works as an advocate for disabled people who are victims of domestic violence. She is also a Disability Rights Advocate where she assists people to access care packages, to be re-housed, to apply for benefits and to appeal against decisions they are not happy with.
She has a masters in Global Citizenship, Identity and Human Rights from the University of Nottingham. In 2008 to 2010, she worked with disabled people’s organisations in Guyana where she provided disability equality and project management training to many disabled people throughout the country. She is particularly passionate about ensuring disabled women feel empowered and equipped to make their own choices.

rebeccaRebecca Bunce is a co-founder of the ICchange campaign calling on the UK government to ratify and implement the Istanbul Convention on violence against women and domestic violence. She is also a human rights researcher with a strong interest in the intersection of women and disabled people’s rights.

Sarah Rennie head shotSarah Rennie is a director of the Wisdom Factory CIC, a social enterprise in Birmingham. As a former solicitor, her day-to-day work is research and governance advice. However, Sarah delivers disability equality training nationwide and acts as a consultant for select clients on internal equality working groups. She is also vice-Chair of the city’s Access Committee.

sophieSophie Partridge is a creative practitioner living in London, who trained with Graeae Theatre Co. She has worked extensively since her training, including her performance as Coral in the award winning Graeae play Peeling. Other stage performance includes work with the David Glass Ensemble, TIE in Nottingham, Theatre Resource in Essex and Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh. Her Media work also includes photo modelling, corporate video and radio.  She is also a campaigner for the right of all Disabled People to live truly independently!

Zara Todd: Disability rights campaigner in today’s Guardian!

Zara, one of our steering group and director, had an article My biggest act of rebellion as a disabled person is living as I wish’. But somehow that fact of being in Sisters of Frida got missed out in her impressive CV!

“What you fundamentally want when you are growing up is to fit in, and when you are constantly being told that you don’t fit, there are two ways you can react,” says Todd. “One is to take it all on board and end up hating yourself, and the other one is to fight it.”

For Todd, who has been a committed activist since the age of 11 when she began “all sorts of campaigning” with a local charity focused on young people, it is quite clear which approach she took. While legal landmarks such as the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and the Equality Act 2010 have undoubtedly heralded improvements in the lives of younger disabled people, numerous obstacles remain to full inclusion, she says.

“There have been massive strides, but one of the things that saddens me most about hearing children and young people’s experiences today is that a lot of the things that I experienced are still happening. I hear stories of young people who aren’t even allowed out [during break times] because there are fears that they might be bullied or that something might happen to them and there aren’t enough staff to facilitate it safely, so the only option is to keep them all in a room together.”

read the rest of the article at the Guardian.

——————————————————

Zara Todd

Zara Todd @toddles23

 

 

Sisters of Frida AGM Saturday 6th Feb London at Blackfriars Settlement 12.30pm

group of women around a coffee table

last year’s AGM in Coventry

 

This year’s AGM will be on 6th February at the Blackfriars Settlement, 1 Rushworth Street, London SE10RB at 12.30pm. This is an accessible venue with a kitchen. As the date coincides with chinese New year, Chinese lunch will be provided but please let us know if you re coming so that we can provide sufficiently. (contributions appreciated for covering costs but not obligatory.) There will be gluten free, vegetarian and vegan provisions. Please let us know if you have other dietary or access issues. There will be a palantypist. Email sisofrida@gmail.com

Agenda will be provided nearer the date. Directions are on the website. For those coming from Euston, the buses 68,168 stop nearby at St Georges Circus, and there are buses 63 and 45 from Kings Cross, stop at Pocock Street.

Please let us know if you intend to come and if you have other access needs or dietary requirements.

sisofrida@gmail.com

please register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sisters-of-fridas-agm-tickets-20930725363