Monday, September 1, 2008

Action!

Hello folks, welcome to my new blog. As mentioned in the sidebar, this blog will cover my activities related to helping to organize a US feminist disability rights movement. I am very excited to do this work and invite you to help me learn and organize for feminist disability rights! For the most part, this blog is where I will share my thoughts and progress, and so my family, friends and colleagues can keep my itinerary straight.

Why do this work? The US women's movement has an older history than the disability rights movement, but in general the women's movement has failed to include disability rights issues on agenda. Many members of women's groups do not yet fully know what inclusion can mean or how disability issues can often strengthen the power of feminist advocacy (you CAN learn!). The disability rights movement, in turn, includes many strong women leaders and committed feminists, but we do not yet have a widespread feminist disability rights agenda easily accessible to, informed by and expressed by our grassroots. The US group FRIDA, to which I belong, is in part an attempt to address the need for action by the grassroots.

Globally, some countries have had strong women with disabilities networks or organizations for many years. Some of these are dedicated to services, but there are some also dedicated to advocacy and systems change. There are international feminist advocates hard at work on ratification and enforcement of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), and on exploring disability representation on the Committee to End Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). However, there are an estimated 300 million women with disabilities worldwide, and not all are so lucky as to have the money to work as global advocates. Most of us can't even get a job. So what can we do to take action from our grassroots?

This project is about questions and sharing ideas. My hope is that, if more people talk about a feminist disability rights agenda, the more likely it is we will see people rise up to take action in whatever creative ways they can find. I'm also interested in seeing more about a feminist Deaf agenda as well. I don't propose to be an expert or to have all the answers, but I am excited to have a discussion in different places and see where it leads. I am also excited to try to lend my organizing/teaching experience to creating forums where we can create a vision and start taking even more action with all our fabulous women activists and the activists yet to come.

2 comments:

Joe said...

This is, of course, so exciting! I can't wait to learn about, and hopefully do my part to support the initiatives that grow out of this project. God speed! FREE OUR PEOPLE!!!

www.PhilosopherCrip.com

Marsha said...

I am just so proud to know you, and I have no doubt that wonderful things will come out of the work you will do and the journey you are about to start. We look forward to hosting you here in Missoula, and sharing you with our sisters and brothers here in the Northern Rockies.
Love and hugs,
Marsha