A disabled women’s collective is looking to recruit fresh blood to help it spread the intersectional feminist values that lie at the heart of its groundbreaking work, in what it says is a “pivotal moment” in its history.
For the first time since it was founded in 2013, Sisters of Frida has secured funding that will allow it to pay members of its steering group.
It is now calling for disabled women, including those who identify as queer, non-binary and trans, and women of colour, to put their names forward as potential steering group members.
It says it needs “new energies, directions, ideas, drive, and most importantly, people”.
It hopes the funding from London-based network Propel, together with an influx of new members, will help it develop leaders in marginalised communities, while keeping intersectional feminist values at the heart of its work.
Since it was founded, it has shaped conversations in the UK and internationally about disabled women within both the feminist and disability rights movements.
Among its work, Sisters of Frida has highlighted the barriers faced by disabled women in a series of reports to the UN, and has supported work around the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
It also researched disabled women’s experiences of independent living during the pandemic; campaigned for changes to the law on violence and domestic violence against disabled women; ran a year-long peer-led skills development course for disabled women; and spoke publicly about the importance of intersectionality.
Eleanor Lisney, a founding member of Sisters of Frida, said she believed the collective’s biggest achievement so far had been to “promote the voices of disabled women and our visibility in issues related to disabled women”.
She said she hoped any recruits would bring “some freshness and passion” into the disabled people’s community through new voices and ideas, and “inspire and support each other to be leaders”.
They are particularly looking for disabled women with skills in fundraising, finance, strategy, organisational development and communications, and with a knowledge of intersectional feminist values and lived experience of disability.
Bethany Young, co-director of Sisters of Frida, said: “Since joining Sisters of Frida, I have worked on lots of wonderful opportunities.
“We are unique because we recognise people don’t exist in clinical, clear-cut tick boxes.
“Real-life diversity is social, human and multi-layered. Together, as Sisters of Frida, we spark better, bolder conversations to create change.”
She said she had become “a better communicator, collaborator and activist” while working with the collective.
She added: “Working with these women shifted how I saw myself. I know my worth. I found my voice by listening to them. I found answers by learning from them.”
Picture: Eleanor Lisney (front, left) with other members of Sisters of Frida in front of the gates of Downing Street
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