Monthly Archives: January 2013

Feisty Disabled Women speak about what having adequate support means to Independent Living and how benefit cuts by the government will affect them


Please read Kate Belgrave’s
A nasty cut: people affected by the closure of the independent living fund
for her interviews with Sophie Partridge and Penny Pepper and how the government’s atrocious decision to close the Independent Living Fund (the ILF) will affect them.

Watch Sophie Partridge talking about the importance of funding people to live independently.

She says,

‘You know we can’t be cast as victims all the time. Its difficult we have to fight the good fight without appearing pathetic cripples, to be honest with you, its very hard to find the balance, actually, …because a lot of the stuff, the arguments against benefit cuts, they do use the word ‘vulnerable’ a hell of a lot…(written to David Cameron) its not my impairment which makes me vulnerable, it is your cuts, it is your policies..give us decent resources and we will add to your economy..we will play our part but we will have to have adequalte resources.

Video by Kate Belgrave

Penny Pepper tells what having Independent Living Fund means to her as a disabled woman and more…
Video by Kate Belgrave

International Networking Site for Disabled Youth Launch


We would like to congratulate one of our Sisters of Frida, Zara Todd,  for the launch of a website for young disabled people from across the world with the aim of connecting them.

International Network for Disabled Youth, known as “INDYspace” (, an online network dedicated to connecting young disabled people aged 16-30 from around the world, has been officially launched.

The website, funded by Oxfam Australia through their Oxfam International Youth Partnerships (OIYP) programme, is the first of its kind in bringing young disabled people together on a global level. It enables users to sign up and share their experiences through the posting of blogs, pictures and videos, as well as providing information on a range of relevant topics including disability rights, independent living, travel and transport, and inclusion and accessibility, acting as both a network and an information base to which users can contribute. It is hoped that in the long-term, the site can provide informative, user-run webinars and interactive online video conferences. There is a strong dedication to making the site both ascetic and accessible to its users, with recommendations given by a web accessibility consultant currently being implemented.

The founders of the website, Erin Gough from New Zealand and Zara Todd from the United Kingdom, who first met at an Oxfam international youth conference two years ago, embody the site mission of enabling young disabled people to work together across borders, constructing the site from opposite sides of the globe.

Zara and Erin

When asked why the pair created the website, Zara Todd commented “We saw that there was a gap , online and literally within the international sector for young disabled people to connect to one another. We wanted a way for young disabled people to all become stronger, to enable them to find solutions together to the barriers that they face as young disabled people, regardless of what country they’re in.” Erin Gough added that the site was “made by young disabled people, for young disabled people” and that she hoped users would take the opportunity to both use and share the site, as “the more of a global force we are, the more global change will be created”.

Press note by Women with Disabilities India Network


we posted this  in solidarity with our disabled sisters in India and everywhere else!

Press note by Women with Disabilities India Network

(dated 30/12/2012)

Last night a young girl of 23 years died after being brutally raped in New Delhi. Her struggle lasted from 16 to 29th December 2012. Travelling with her friend who hailed a bus they were  brutally attacked by a group of six men, while the man was thrown off the bus, the woman was gang raped. The brutality perpetuated on the victim has outraged the nation.

We the ‘Women with Disabilities India Network’ join other women and concerned citizens in condemning the act.


We can understand the trauma faced by the young woman because we are targets of such violence each day in both public and private sphere.Such rapes are not isolated incidents, but are rather experienced in a continuum of violence. They happen within the homes, in buses and trains and in State run institutions for instance against women with mental illness and young girls with intellectual disability where rape is an everyday affair.    Rape by household members often remains unreported to avoid further stigmatization.

We believe that rape as a weapon of violence must be stopped and impunity enjoyed by perpetrators brought to an end. Impunity for the rape of women has become a national concern, because it compounds the effects of such violence. It intensifies the subordination and powerlessness of the targets of rape and sends a message to society that male violence against women is both acceptable and inevitable.

We urge that the cases of such heinous crimes be taken up and speedy action taken so that justice can be done.


We do not believe that death penalty is the answer as it reflects attention away from the violence perpetuated against us. This is especially the case when much of the violence perpetrators are mostly men from within families.  We aim for dignity and justice and safe homes, society and country. We believe that The normalcy and ethical acceptability of this violence must be challenged by the normative and ablest  attitudes


We must adopt laws and policies recognizing that all actions that violate women’s bodies are illegal.  Women must themselves be key decision makers in efforts to identify priority concerns and legal responses.


There is a need for further popular, police, and judicial training that builds specific cultural awareness   about disability issues  and legal knowledge on the issue.

Without such efforts, further elaboration of domestic and international, legal standards will fail women.


There has to be an appropriate strict punishment for all rapists, ensuring that they do not indulge in such activities again Concerns of deaf women in relation to rape came out very blatantly in our meeting in Delhi on 1st October 2012.
Since most disabled women are raped by men they trust the most who may be their family member’s or care givers (in institutes), there must be a mechanism set across the country where they can report such matters without the scare of any negative consequences. Also psychological and vocational support must be provided to such women.

Additional vulnerability of WWD is not recognized anywhere. I think that it must be recognized and addressed at all levels whether it be in the women commission, women groups and NGO programmes or any programmes and schemes instituted by the government.

Prepared by

Anita Ghai
Associate Professor
Fellow, Teen Murti (2009-2011)
IAWS president (2008-2011)
EC member IAWS (2011-2014)

Jeeja Ghosh
Head Advocacy and Disability Studies IICP,


Shivani Gupta

Founder and Chief Consultant


New Delhi

Anjlee Agarwal
Executive Director & Access Consultant
New Delhi

DLU South

Asha Hans
Former Prof & Director Women’s Studies
Utkal University