In 2014, Bubulina Moreno and Yoli de Rocio Gil realised that their issues and priorities as disabled women were invisible in both the feminist movement and the disability rights movement in Colombia. So they created Colectiva Polimorfas, a group dedicated to defending the issues of disabled women and girls. Ashrafun Nahar, one of the founders of the Women with Disabilities Development Foundation in Bangladesh, spent months attending the meetings of a feminist platform that was monitoring CEDAW implementation to make sure that the issues and needs of disabled women were included. When the final report came out, none of her input had been included.
These types of stories are familiar to feminist disability rights activists and are documented in Mama Cash’s new report ‘If you stay quiet, you stay invisible’. The report presents eight profiles of grantee-partners funded by Mama Cash who are working at the intersection of feminist and disability rights activism. We are excited to share their stories and invite you to explore the report, which presents their voices, work, dreams, and challenges, as well as what they say they need from funders and from other social justice activists.
Over the past ten years, Mama Cash has channeled approximately €2.18 million in grants to 16 feminist groups with a focus on disability rights justice. We are honoured to support so many visionary and fierce feminist disability rights activists, and we are committed to learning from them and to improving our work as an actively anti-disabilist funder. With this collection, we are sharing with donors, other women’s funds, feminist and disability rights movements, and other stakeholders, the stories of powerful activism so that we can learn how to support feminist disability rights work better. The publication presents Mama Cash’s reflections and learnings in a concluding section. Activists make many recommendations for how we can better support their work, including providing long-term, core support funding, supporting cross-movement organising, and respecting the principle of ‘nothing about us, without us’.
We hope that these eight stories and our reflections will support you – and your organisation, if you work in one – to advance feminist disability justice agendas.
The stories in this report are also available as individual pdfs:
Women with Disabilities Development Foundation, Bangladesh
Women’s Security Index Coalition, Israel