Press report from John Pring, Disability News Service, about Sisters of Frida’s involvement with CEDAW
Among its conclusions, included in a new report on the government’s performance, the CEDAW committee expressed alarm at the high rates of unemployment faced by disabled women, and at the low number of disabled and black and minority ethnic women in parliament and the judiciary.
Eleanor Lisney, SoF’s founder, said it was the first time that disabled women had “actively contributed and participated in the UK shadow report”.
Lisney and fellow SoF member Eleanor Firman travelled to Geneva for CEDAW’s examination of the UK government, with their visit funded partly by the National Union of Journalists and a London trades council.
Lisney told the CEDAW committee during a briefing that the cumulative impact of the UK government’s cuts had affected every area of disabled women’s lives.
She said she had been able to explain to the committee “the urgency and the desperation” felt by disabled women as a result of the austerity regime, and how many of them felt “shell-shocked” by the breadth and depth of the cuts, with some even killing themselves.
Lisney said she had trained and worked on disabled women’s issues around the shadow report for more than three years, work that had led to her founding SoF.
She said she was “quite proud” of SoF’s CEDAW work, and is now hoping to secure funding to collect data on the experiences of some of the hidden groups within the population of disabled women, such as those suffering domestic violence, and black and minority ethnic communities.
She said: “Those speaking for disabled people are concentrating on [cuts and reforms to] disability living allowance, because these are the people who have a voice, but I am thinking of those who don’t.
“These people are not represented in the disability movement, but it is just so important for them to be involved and speak out.
See the rest of the article at The Fed website