Sisters of Frida 2015 AGM

Zara, Becky, Eleanor Firman and Obi (livestreamer in photo)

Zara, Becky, Eleanor Firman and Obi (livestreamer in photo)

Emma (speaking with ipad) and Dyi

Emma (speaking with ipad) and Dyi

Tim (PA), Lani, Manjit  Rehal and colleague from Coventry CRASAC

Tim (PA), Lani, Manjit Rehal and colleague from Coventry CRASAC

Sarah (with thumbs up) and Emma

Sarah (with thumbs up) and Emma


Back to us, Armineh and Zara, Pauline, Martine (standing up), Michelle and Becky

Sisters of Frida held the 2015 AGM Saturday 10th January, in Coventry, Kahawa café, 163 New union Street, CV1 2PL.

A panel of speakers discussed the issues for Sisters of Frida to focus on: disability and sexuality, domestic violence and violence against women, social justice and intersectionality. This AGM was livestreamed and we had a remote captioner for one deaf delegate and the other with hearing impairment. ( Michelle: Welcome and Introductions) ( Becky and Zara: Young disabled women and intersectionality) (Michelle: Health Care and Inequality for disabled women) (Eleanor: Feminism and Disability, UN instruments) ( Questions and Answers) (Priorities for SoF video )

2015 01 10 SISTERS OF FRIDA Transcript (transcript captioned in MS Word Doc)

Dead Women Walking march – Sunday 23rd November 2014

women in red ponchos in the red

waiting for the other women to arrive

This is a remembrance walk and we walked to represent the number of women killed in one year in the UK, there was a Red Rain Poncho for each woman representing a murdered woman and a candle bearing a name – the candles had their wicks cut off to comply with Health & Safety rules and remained UNLIT.

It was a wet day but about 85 women, 4 men and a few children walked down from Grosvenor Sq mostly in silence while the names of the dead women were read out.

A candla for each woman

A candla for each dead woman

waiting outside 10 Downing Street

giving the petition at No10 Downing Street

giving the petition at No10 Downing Street


NE Women with Disabled People’s organisations (on tackling VAW together)


with Caroline Airs


with Sonali Shah

with Sonali Shah

NE Women invited us back to speak :

A conversation between women’s organisations and disabled people’s organisations

Wednesday 12th Nov 2014 – MPH Training & Conference Centre, Gateshead NE10 0HW

with Chair’s Welcome, introduction and context for the event –

Caroline Airs, with

“Hidden Voices: Disabled women who are survivors of violence,” Dr Sonali Shah, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow and

Using CEDAW, CRPD and other human rights frameworks to tackle VAWG

(an overview) with Roweena Russell, Co-ordinator, North East [End] Violence against Women

and Girls Network and Eleanor Lisney, Director of Sisters of Frida CIC.


Leeds for Change


We (Armineh and Eleanor) were invited to Leeds for Change Summat New (8th November) to discuss social justice- here are some of the photos –

panel speakers

The 10am speaker panel with Pragna Patel, Eleanor Lisney and Paul Mason.
Photo credit to Jon Dorsett

Photo credit to Jon Dorsett

Photo credit to Jon Dorsett

watch out for Many thanks to Laura MacFarlane Shopes for organising the event.

Disability and intersectionality: Multiple identities, cumulative discrimination


Reblogged from Women’s Aid Scotland ‘Today we can stop it‘ with thanks!

American professor, Kimberlé Crenshaw, coined the term ‘intersectionalityin 1989. Reni Eddo-Lodge, had an interview with her earlier this year where she explained why her law studies led her to intersectionality.

 “That work started when I realised that African American Women were… not recognised as having experienced discrimination that reflected both their race and their gender. The courts would say if you don’t experience racism in the same way as a man does, or sexism in the same way as a white woman does, then you haven’t been discriminated against. I saw that as a problem of sameness and difference. There were claims of being seen as too different to be accommodated by law. That led to intersectionality, looking at the ways race and gender intersect to create barriers and obstacles to equality.”

Many people trip over this word but it means that women experience oppression or discrimination at several and varying levels. However there are more barriers to equality than race/ethnicity and gender. There is also disability, sexual orientation and class.

Disabled activists are on the rise and many of them are women engaged in the fight against austerity but disability activism has been mainly gender neutral. Women’s Aid outlines particular ways in which disabled women are vulnerable to physical, sexual, psychological and financial abuse – and makes the point that “Getting away from abuse is often harder for disabled women because access to help and support is often controlled by the abuser.” But not many disabled people organisations have focused on this abuse –there are exceptions of specialised organisations such as Stay Safe East in East London

Racism is embedded in the system and people who have never encountered it, can never understand how insidious it can be. And lack of representation of people of colour or BAME communities hold its own message – and that makes them feel excluded.  Ableism is just as embedded in the system where many disabled are left trapped in their own or residential homes because they lack support in the form of care packages to enable to live as citizens in their communities and in society.

Disabled people are fighting for the continuation of the Independent Living Fund and access to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and now, against the changes made to Access to Work.

The Convention of Rights for People of Disabilities (CRPD) recognises intersectionality for disabled women, Article 6 for Women with disabilities

  1. States Parties recognize that women and girls with disabilities are subject tomultiple discrimination, and in this regard shall take measures to ensure the full and equal enjoyment by them of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

For example, where a blind woman is denied access to information on the website of the Ministry of Health due to outright inaccessibility, this results in discrimination on the basis of disability only and not her gender as the site would be equally inaccessible to blind men; whereas a blind woman being denied access to family planning services is subjected to differential treatment based on both her gender and disability – and if she is actually an adolescent girl living in a remote indigenous community, clearly intersections of multiple aspects of her identity operate to exacerbate the disadvantage she faces in enjoying and exercising her rights.

(example from the IDA, Victoria Lee)

Many of us have multiple identities and we are impacted by discrimination cumulatively as disabled women. We need to recognise the intersectionality and work across strands of identity. As the women at Sisters of Frida’s event, Disabled Women’s Right to Occupy, agreed – we are the sum of identities, we cannot separate the strands but work as a whole difference.

Domestic Violence Murder March #deadwomenwalking Sunday 23 November London


2 women a week escape domestic violence in UK because they have been murdered

Some Sisters of Frida will be joining this – please write to if you re interested in joining

Date: Sunday 23rd November 2014
Time: Meet at 1.30pm for distribution of ponchos & safety info Please allow plenty of time for getting ‘lost’ and finding us so we can set off on time
Short speech at 2pm to start the walk
Meeting Place: Grosvenor Square Garden, Grosvenor Square, London

Travel:nearest tube is Bond Street (7 minute walk) or Marble Arch (10 min walk)

This is a remembrance walk and we will be walking to represent the number of women killed in one year in the UK. I will have a Red Rain Poncho for each woman representing a murdered woman and a candle bearing a name – The candles will have their wicks cut off to comply with Health & Safety rules and will remain UNLIT at all times.

The Ponchos are one-size so you will be able to dress according to the weather - If you could wear black from the waist down that would help to get the visual look I am hoping to achieve – a line of red and black. If you have a red coat do wear it! The walk is 1.6 miles and we will be walking in silence at a slow pace to arrive at Downing Street for approximately 3pm. Please do not bring whistles etc.. Sadly they won’t let us all in! Six people will deliver a list of names to 10 Downing Street and that will be the end of the march. We should be finished by 3.30 – 4pm at the latest.

from Claire Moore of Certain Curtain Theatre (Facebook