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We have a new website

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new website sisofrida.org

Please find us at our new website.

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Disabled Women’s Panel at FIL: sunday 25th 12.30-2pm Hilton Metropole Hotel, London

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sun 25 oct  12.30 – 2pm   Feminism in London:  Sisters of Frida’s Disabled Women’s Panel  Multiple Identities: ordinary lives:  The challenges of being disabled and feminist  Disabled women’s rights are human rights! Disability can be physical, mental, neurological, hidden or visible. This panel will look at activism through the prism of disability and feminism and seek to explore further the intersection and challenges of being between the two and the capacity of the two movements to work for change.

Too often are disabled women absent from the mainstream feminist discourse. We are often invisible. Here we will be speaking on a range of topics from the views of young disabled women from Becky, on politics and advisory roles from Kirsten, on violence against women and girls (Asha will be speaking from an international level and Rebecca on a UK/European level), the impact of austerity from FrancesRyan.  And all of them will also speak from a personal level too.

venue – Hilton Metropole Hotel, 225 Edgware Rd, London W2 1JU

Asha Hans ( Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre by video link)
Kirsten Hearn (Chair)
Becky Olaniyi (Sisters of Frida)
Nidhi Goyal (CREA: disability and sexuality by video link)
Rebecca Bunce (ICChange)
Frances Ryan (Guardian journalist)
http://www.feminisminlondon.co.uk/timetable/

We will also have a Sisters of Frida stall for information and merchandise.

soffil flyer MS word doc

soffil flyer PDF file

Feminism in London FIL website

Check out on accessible Tube at Transport of All

nearest tube to Hilton Metrople is Egdeware Rd station.

nearest accessible tube is at Green Park Underground station

train stations Paddington and Marylebone

The Hilton London Metropole is located to the North on the corner of Edgware Road and Harrow Road. The hotel is approximately half a mile north of Marble Arch, Oxford Street and Hyde Park and next to the A40(M), with easy access to M40, M1 and M25.

The car parking is located in Harbet Road, just at the back of the hotel. From the hotel entrance in Edgware Road continue north and turn left at the first corner into Harrow Road. Once in Harrow Road please turn left at the first corner again into Harbet Road. (parking £5/hr)

Against the legalisation of Assisted Suicide: a right to independent living before a right to suicide

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Sisters of Frida is a member of ROFA (Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance). In times of austerity, we see disabled and older women are likely to be coerced into assisted suicide from different pressures.

If the Assisted Dying Bill is passed, some Disabled and terminally ill people’s lives will be ended without their consent, through mistakes, subtle pressure and abuse.  No safeguards have ever been enacted or proposed that can prevent this outcome – an outcome which can never be undone.

Read the story of Maud in the Guardian

If we structure society in such a way that many people have desperate, miserable lives, what sort of choice is it when people choose to kill themselves?
Maud lives round the corner from me in south London. She is 90 and on her own. She remembers a time when everyone knew everyone else, and when there was genuine community solidarity. Nowadays people come and go, she says, and young people can’t be bothered with the elderly. She is often lonely. “Even the doctor came round to see me and asked me if I wanted to commit suicide,” she says.

#notdeadyetuk

(photo of a NotDead Yet protest by Eleanor )

From Inclusion London

With two Assisted Dying bills currently before parliament, it is really important that Deaf and Disabled people and our organisations speak out loudly against the legalisation of assisted suicide and raise awareness of the threat this poses to disability equality.

Our message is that we want support to live not die. At a time when essential support is being taken away from us, when the challenges we face are exponentially growing as a direct result of adverse government policy, it is more dangerous than ever to introduce legislation which encourages suicide as a solution to the barriers Disabled people face.

We say: give Disabled people a right to independent living before a right to suicide.

Below are different ways that Disabled campaigners and our supporters can take action and get involved. We realise that not everyone has the time to do everything but anything you are able to contribute to the campaign would be valued.

1) Sign up the Reclaiming Our Futures statement. It’s quick and easy to do: just email your name to ellen.clifford@inclusionlondon.org.uk with ‘AS statement’ in the subject line. We are asking organisations, campaigns and individuals to sign up before the end of August. It’s really important we can show there is wide support for the case against legalisation.

Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance Statement

We are opposed to legalisation of assisted suicide. It will remove equality and choice from disabled people and further contribute to our oppression. If the Assisted Dying Bill is passed, some Disabled and terminally ill people’s lives will be ended without their consent, through mistakes, subtle pressure and abuse.  No safeguards have ever been enacted or proposed that can prevent this outcome – an outcome which can never be undone.

[Reclaiming Our Futures or ROFA is a network of grassroots Disabled people led campaigns and organisations across England. For more information see: http://www.rofa.org.uk/%5D

2) Write to or arrange to meet your local MP (even over the Summer they will be receiving and responding to mail). You can download a template letter here.  Some MPs are organising public meetings to canvass the views of their constituents – check their websites to see if your MP is one of these. Please send us copies of any responses you receive.
3) Help publicise the facts about assisted suicide, for example send a letter to your local paper. Download the Assisted Suicide Open Template Letter for Media here.
4) If you have a personal story about this subject which informs your view on it and which you are willing to share please let us know. We are also looking for Disabled people who are happy to speak to the media about why we oppose legalisation of assisted suicide.
5) Join us at the Not Dead Yet UK/DPAC Protest on 11th September. Gather outside Parliament to show our opposition to Marris’ bill while it is being debated inside. Meet Old Palace Yard (opposite the House of Lord’s) from 9am. Further details to be confirmed.
6) Check if your MP is one of the named supporters of Marris’ bill? DPAC is encouraging campaign groups to organise protests outside the constituency offices of those MPs who have put their name to Marris’ Assisted Dying bill. If you would like support to organise a local protest or for more information contact Mail@dpac.uk.net(See http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm150624/debtext/150624-0001.htm#15062462000011 to check if your MP is named)

Here is a good Assisted Dying Bill Information_Easy Read version explaining the Assisted Dying Bill for everybody from ROFA (MS Word document)

empty wheelchairs and shoes with notes on them

photo from Not Dead Yet campaign

Sisters of Frida at : Woman Up! London, in association with Conway Hall Ethical Society (Saturday 29th Auguest)

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Eleanor, Rebecca and Zara

Eleanor, Rebecca and Zara

Sisters of Frida were at the Woman Up event August bank holiday weekend. 29th/30th August
Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square
WC1R 4RL London
United Kingdom

Saturday

Panel: The politics of women’s bodies: sexuality, porn and nudity
Collette Nolan – Doodle Your Down There
Jane Fae – Journalist and campaigner
Zara Todd – Sisters of Frida
Rebecca Ryce – Sexpression
Chella Quint – Period Positive
Pandora Blake – feminist porn maker

(see transcript below)

Sunday
Panel – Preventing violence against women and girls, and supporting survivors
Rebecca Bunce – ICchange
Chris Green – White Ribbon campaign
Tamara-Jade Kaz – feminist campaigner

Full progamme at From Woman Up eventbrite

transcript of video clip

Zara:

….seen as innocent vessels (?) that are then corrupted by the world.. And yes, there are some horrific stats about disabled womens’ experience.

We are 4 times more likely to be the victims of domestic abuse and violence. The sexual exploitation of disabled children is massive.

But for me I can’t help but question whether those stats in part, are partly because we de-sexualise disabled women.

Because if by de-sexualising them it means that if they do go to the police and say that they’ve had an experience they can be disbelieved because disabled people don’t have sex.

What is really strange to me is that, despite the de-sexualisation of disabled people and disabled women, it is seen as perfectly acceptable for a stranger to approach me and ask how I have sex, or do I have sex. And they are questions that non-disabled women don’t get asked very often.

And I think that to me is where disabled women need to be represented in discussions in Feminism, about sexuality, about porn because a lot of disabled women have hidden impairments and actually a lot of the women that are being exploited and are experiencing sexual violence are probably disabled women. They might not realise it, you might not realise it, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t experiencing those kinds of barriers. So it’s really important that we’re being open and honest about disabled women and how they fit into this kind of environment.

Now I’ve been a Disability rights activist for quite a long time, probably longer than some of the panel members have been alive! – in that I started being involved in Disability rights at the age of 10.

I didn’t get involved in the Feminist movement until my mid-20s. The reason for that was that I didn’t feel like I belonged in the feminist movement. I have spent a large proportion of my life trying to be seen as a sexual entity, as a sexual being, whereas a lot of the messages that I’ve received from the Feminist movement over that same period of time have been telling me that I don’t want to be ‘objectified. Actually, as a disabled woman who is told that I don’t have a sexuality, repeatedly by society, the idea of being sexualised and objectified – sounds pretty good to me!

Anyway, on that note I’ll hand over…

END 3:07

Screening AccSex in Leeds: Disabled Women Activism & Sexuality event

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accsex film flyer

accsex film flyer
Disabled Women: Activism and Sexuality

The Centre for Disability Studies (University of Leeds) and Sisters of Frida (North) invite you to

Disabled Women: Activism and Sexuality

Friday 15 May 2015: 12.30-4.30

Liberty Building, University of Leeds, Room G.32

The first part of this event will include presentations from Sarah Woodin (CDS) on disabled women, violence and access to support; and Freyja Haraldsdottir (Tabu) on feminist disability activism in Iceland and the founding of ‘Tabu’ (www.tabu.is)

The second part (after a short lunch-break will include: A screening by Sisters of Frida of  the film, ‘ACCSEX’ – which explores notions of ‘ideal bodies’ (https://vimeo.com/73844999); and discussion led by Kirsty Liddiard (University of Sheffield) and Q&A with Shweta Ghosh (director of the film).

Teas and coffees will be provided but please bring your own lunch.

Location Details

Room G.32 (ground floor)
School of Law
Liberty Building
University of Leeds
LS2 9JT

(Please use postcode LS6 1AN for Sat Nav’s)

The Liberty Building is number 16 on the campus map.

Screening AccSex: Disabled Women Sexuality and Solidarity 16 Saturday 1 pm.

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Accsex

Accsex

Please register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/screening-accsex-disabled-women-sexuality-and-solidarity-tickets-16811051307 Details are on the eventbrite.

Confirmed BSL for discussion!!

Laki

Laki Kaur

We ‘ re also very pleased that Laki Kaur will be joining us and co chairing the discussion with Becky.

Laki is a 25 year old disabled woman , she describes herself as ‘outspoken, positive and love to try new things who loves traveling ‘. She works as a receptionist and loves her job.

Event Details

Sisters of Frida is happy to host AccSex in London. Shweta Ghosh will be there to answer questions co chaired by Lucia Bellini and Becky Olaniyi from Sisters of Frida

View trailer here.

Within stifling dichotomies of normal and abnormal, lie millions of women, negotiating with their identities. Accsex explores notions of beauty, the ‘ideal body’ and sexuality through four storytellers; four women who happen to be persons with disability. Through the lives of Natasha, Sonali, Kanti and Abha, this film brings to fore questions of acceptance, confidence and resistance to the normative. As it turns out, these questions are not too removed from everyday realities of several others, deemed ‘imperfect’ and ‘monstrous’ for not fitting in.Accsex traces the journey of the storytellers as they reclaim agency and the right to unapologetic confidence, sexual expression and happiness.

The experience of minority genders with disability largely reflects double discrimination. In the Indian context, identities and stories are further layered by virtue of diversities in caste, class, ethnic and religious backgrounds. The issues of persons with disabilities are often seen through a welfare approach in laws, programmes and policies. A similar charity-tinted lens is employed by educational books and media texts and a basic reading of these shows how the mildest physical and psycho-social disabilities are viewed as ‘abnormal’.

Accsex has won a number of awards and been part of several festival selections. It has also been used as a strong advocacy and educational material by activists in the field of disability and gender rights. It has been incorporated into the CREA Disability and Sexuality Rights online institute in 2015.

Shweta Ghosh is a documentary filmmaker and researcher. A silver medalist from the School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (SMCS, TISS), Mumbai, she has explored her interest in disability, cuisine, travel and music through research and film projects.

Shweta’s debut documentary Accsex, a film exploring notions of beauty, body, sexuality and disability was awarded Special Mention at the 61st Indian National Film Awards 2014 and has been screened across India and abroad. The film has been appreciated for its rights-based approach to disability and sexuality and has been used widely as advocacy and training material by NGOs and academic institutions.

Lucia Bellini works for StaySafe East to tackle violence and abuse against disabled and Deaf people. She spoke for disabled women at Million Women Rise at Trafalgar Square this year.

Becki Olaniyi is a young disabled women. She was on a panel on disability, race and gender at the WOW Festival at the South Bank this year.

We will also be discussing setting up a disabled women group on sexuality, relationships and intimacy.

This event is a women only event intended as a safe space for women to discuss sexuality and disability issues.

Nearest Tube stations

Waterloo Station | Bakerloo, Jubilee, (accessible for wheelchair users)

Lambeth North Station | Bakerloo line

Kennington Station | Northern line

Elephant & Castle | Northern line

Northern, Waterloo & City lines

Buses

3, 59, 159, 360