Bristol Women’s Voice launches new project to empower disabled women
Written by Alice Clermont, gender and health equality researcher and advocate
September 2, 2021
Compelled by recent research showing that disabled women are frequently excluded from decision-making that affects their lives, Bristol Women’s Voice is launching a new project – led by disabled women, for disabled women – to ensure their voices are heard in the city.
During the pandemic, disabled women and those living with chronic illness have been afforded opportunities to work flexibly from home, attend virtual health appointments and join online classes, all thanks to increased digital inclusion. At the same time, Covid-19 has disproportionately affected disabled people, with disabled people accounting for 60% of deaths involving coronavirus according to the ONS. In partnership with WECIL (West of England Centre for Inclusive Living), Bristol Women’s Voice is setting up Disabled Women’s Action Groups to strengthen accessible inclusivity for disabled women and empower them to raise their voices about issues important to them in Bristol.
Recent research, conducted in collaboration with Bristol Women’s Voice, revealed that disabled women and other marginalised women are keen to share their views but often face challenges to getting involved in decision- and policy-making, leaving them ignored or forgotten. Community organisations in Bristol are showing how to challenge this exclusion by proactively engaging with marginalised communities and providing inclusive opportunities for them to speak. Bristol Women’s Voice, first through the Bristol City Listening Project in 2019-20 and now with the new Disabled Women’s Action Groups, is working at grassroots level to engage and empower women who often go unheard in the city.
Bristol Women’s Voice director, Katy Taylor, said:
“We are excited to launch Disabled Women’s Action Groups in Bristol – led by disabled women, for disabled women. Working in partnership with WECIL, this two-year project will empower disabled women to identify issues important to them and develop solutions to address them. Founded on the principles of co-production and community development, we will support group members to take the lead on actions that will improve their lives, their communities and the city overall.”
Bristol Women’s Voice will be sharing details about how to get involved in the coming weeks, so look out for further information on our website bristolwomensvoice.org.uk.
- To find out more about how to successfully engage with marginalised communities in Bristol, see this Participatory Policy-making Marginalised groups summary with policy recommendations.
- If you would like to support Bristol Women’s Voice to continue raising women’s voices and issues in the city, please consider donating or becoming a regular donor by giving £5 or £10 a month here.