Yesterday was the first day of AWID’s conference and it was a busy morning with 2000 women attending the opening plenary session.
CBM’s session on Building Collective Power was scheduled for the first day, and it was a great success. Before the panel began, we got to premiere the video CBM made for the AWID conference. The video filmed across five locations includes the voices of women with disabilities from Pakistan, Guatemala, Nepal, Nigeria, the UK and the US. The video received applause and cheers and we got to show it twice.It will be available online soon.
Once the video was over, each of the speakers on the panel shared their stories. Rama Dhakal from Nepal shared about her experience of building a network of women with disabilities in Nepal and spoke about the challenges women with disabilities face in Nepal. Madezha Cepeda Bazan from Peru spoke about her work with the disabled women’s organisation Musas Inspiridoras de Cambios. Madezha outlined how she works to challenge the disability movement to be more inclusive of women with disabilities and also the women’s movement to be more inclusive of persons with disabilities. She believes that participation in both movements is key for women with disabilities.
Mia Farah from Lebanon followed Madezha and gave a great speech about her experience as a self-advocate and the challenges she faces as a women with an intellectual disability living in Beirut. Our final speaker was Leona Tamainai from the Pacific Disability Forum (PDF) who gave a great presentation on the work of PDF on gender and disability.
We were delighted to have an engaged audience who asked the panelists for their views on how the media represents women with disabilities, how donors and development partners can be more inclusive of women with disabilities and how we can ensure that the women who are the hardest to reach are not left behind.
Again I’d like to give thanks to Rama Dhakal, Madezha Cepeda Bazan, Leona Tamainai and Mia Farah. I will give the last few words of this blog over to Mia from her insightful presentation – MY LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL BECAUSE MY DECISIONS ARE SUPPORTED.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and our website to get all the latest news about the AWID meetings! Furthermore have a look at our brochure on the issues, challenges and the inclusion of women with disabilities.