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The Impact of COVID 19 on Disabled Women from Sisters of Frida

Voices of Disabled women in the pandemic

About this paper

This paper started as a brief but we sent the first version in response to the Women and Equalities Unequal impact: Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the impact on people with protected characteristics. We know that the experiences of Disabled women are not visible in the wider response to COVID-19.

The need to add the narratives focused on Disabled women is the reason for this paper. We feel that the narrative about Disabled women, when available, is very one dimensional. There is no consideration that Disabled women occupy multiple roles, we are diverse and any considerations have to be viewed through an intersectional lens.  We are strongly aware that new measures under the Coronavirus COVID-19 2020 Act threaten rights-based protections and reduce our independent living and in some cases our lives.[2]

We were asked to join a coalition of women’s organisations[ calling on the government to take on certain actions, and to contribute evidence from the perspectives from disabled women under the impact of COVID-19. We put out a call for evidence, asking disabled women to share their experiences of COVID-19 and its specific impact for intersecting identities. We want to ensure the voices of Disabled women are visible as they are often omitted as examples of multiple protected characteristics.

We are working with Inclusion London and ROFA (Reclaiming Our Future Alliance) on the rights of disabled people under the Care Act 2014 where these are being eroded, the urgency of access to food and services for disabled people, and access to PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for their Personal Assistants (PAs) and themselves.

Disabled women’s needs under COVID-19 measures are no less significant than those of the rest of the disabled community, but disabled women face specific issues.

We are looking in particular at those issues that are impacting rights at the intersection of gender and disability during this crisis.

Please access the paper in (PDF) and/or in Word

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