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Report: Disabled women’s perspectives on Independent Living during the pandemic



The ‘Disabled Women’s Perspectives on Independent Living During the Pandemic’ report provides an insight into the experiences of Disabled women during the Covid-19 pandemic. It introduces the ways in which policies pertaining to managing the pandemic by the government, local authorities and other bodies have affected Disabled women’s ability to live independently. Our report provides Disabled women’s perspectives on a number of issues, such as: financial struggle, experiences of ableism in the employment sector, issues with local authorities and the social care system, getting the appropriate healthcare, struggles in accessing food and other household supplies, and importantly a stark deterioration in mental health. 

These issues are a culmination of longstanding government policies which have been detrimental to Disabled women’s lives from 2008 to now. For over a decade, we have witnessed the dismantling of services in the NHS and a reduction in local authority and social security provisions that have left Disabled people struggling, even prior to the pandemic. It further led to Disabled women being subjected to having our rights to independent living and dignity of life eroded. This was exacerbated during the pandemic and we received little to no support from services run by the NHS, local authorities and social security. The lack of information on basic health matters such as shielding and vaccination have caused a great deal of confusion and stress. Notwithstanding the eugenicist deaths of countless of Disabled people and people of colour, it is our view that our struggle and destitution could have been avoided.  

Our briefing ‘The Impact of COVID 19 on Disabled Women from Sisters of Frida’ illustrates that most Disabled women are already on low income. We are more likely to provide domestic care, less likely to be employed, and are less financially independent. We also know that women do not all have the same life experiences and this needs to be reflected in policy making. For example, Disabled women of colour are disproportionately disadvantaged due to racism, disablism and sexism. Disabled lesbians face social exclusion from the LGBTQIA+ community and disability rights groups. While some data exists on some matters affecting Disabled women such as unemployment, intersecting identities such as race, class, sexuality and gender diversity are not taken into account. Therefore, when considering policy on disability issues, it is important that different Disabled women’s experiences are included. This report attempts to incorporate some intersectional depth to Disabled experiences of the pandemic. 

See the full report as a Word doc or a PDF

4 responses to “Report: Disabled women’s perspectives on Independent Living during the pandemic”

  1. […] report, Disabled Women’s Perspectives on Independent Living During the Pandemic, was published by the disabled women’s collective Sisters of […]

  2. tom says:

    A more than timely report.

    It’s probably wishful thinking that it reaches a wide audience

    I am surprised, though, that the cost of utiliities wasn’t mentioned.

    Many people faced extra heating costs during shielding. Those lucky enough to have metered supplies will not have had them read for over a year.

    Those billls will hit hard when they finally arrive

  3. […] and living in fear for our lives.” Sisters of Frida have written about how our access to food, medical services and support has been limited, as an already-poor community has been pushed deeper into poverty. There has been a rise in mental […]

  4. […] experience. ‘Disabled Women’s Perspectives on Independent Living During the Pandemic’, a report by the collective group Sisters of Frida, too shows the infrastructure that disabled people must contend with just to have their basic needs […]

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