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Loud, Proud and Passionate! Women with Disabilities

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a SKY'S THE LIMIT PRODUCTIONS presentation June 1997 Eugene, Oregon - USA [Narrator] In June of 1997, 31 women delegates from 27 countries came to Eugene, Oregon USA to give a face, name & voice to women with disabilities. They were here for the 1st International Women's Institute on Leadership & Disability, a 2 week programme hosted by Mobility International USA. Euphrasia, that's how you say Euphrasia in sign language. Euphrasia? Yes, that's her name. Ah, it's a pretty name... We are from Thailand. Mobility International USA presents LOUD, PROUD & PASSIONATE [the Women's Institute] MIUSA's been doing leadership training for 15 years & we've always had both men & women with disabilities [Susan Sygall, exec. director, MIUSA] but when we organized 250 women with disabilities to go to Beijing, there was such incredible energy to have all these women together & all these issues that we needed to talk about. So, after the symposium of 250 women with disabilities from around the world we decided that as a follow up to Beijing, that we would organize a women's institute on leadership & disability so that women from all over the world would have a chance to come together, to talk about the issues, to talk about the strategies & to make a difference as women & as women with disabilities. the ISSUES I think that the issues for disabled women are really varied. They have all the issues facing them that women have, & they have all the issues [Corbett O' Toole, director, Disabled Women's Alliance USA] that disabled people have. And then when you put those 2 pieces together you get an intersecting set of problems that don't exist anyplace else. We, as women with disabilities face many issues. We have a higher incidence of violence against us compared to non-disabled women. We have a higher incidence of sexual abuse compared to non-disabled women. We also have less chance of having appropriate health care provided for us. These are just some of the issues that women with disabilities face. They also face double discrimination in the areas of employment, in education where they're discriminated against once because they're women & then a second time because they're persons with disabilities. Women around the world with disabilities have a lot of the same issues. We are all concerned about being parents, about being effective parents, we're all concerned about [Lisa Lester, Special Education Teacher USA] being a productive part of society. We're also concerned with establishing the foundation for our daughters, not only our sons - our sons too - but more importantly our daughters, so our daughters can have a lot more advantages than we had. EMPOWERMENT [Corbett O' Toole] I think there is a tendency for us to think that we should just wait for the women's commission to decide to do disabled women's work or somebody else to do it & that the reality is that there is no one else. And that the women who have come here, are women that know that. That we have women who have said, "you know, I wish there was a lot of money, I wish somebody else was doing this work, but nobody else is doing it, so I will do it." And I, as a - you know - a community of one, will be that voice will be that candle in the dark that will start this movement & I will trust that I am important enough to get something started. As we are all disability activists we all go through problems. In society, in our community, in our workplace, even with our fellow disabled men. So what we have learned & what I have learned so far [Susan Chitimbe, director, Disabled Women in Development, Malawi] is to be strong when I go home. To not allow any man to demoralise me. I've learned to be a strong leader. The work that we're doing here is not just for disabled women & disabled girls, it's for the world! You know, that if we had accessible places then that means it's accessible for everyone, whether they're poor or whether they have... ummm... they're old [Fiona Strahan, writer/ activist, Australia] or whether they have children. It's like the work that we're doing will have a ripple for all people. I think it's very important that women with disabilities have got [Safia Nalule, Disabled Women's Resource Network, Uganda] their own movement, because I think it has been long that women without disabilities have been engaged in empowerment & education & so on but they have not been including us in their programmes & at the same time, the men with disabilities have also behaved the same. They have overlooked the issues of women with disabilities. So we feel that it is high time that we come together & we look at the problems we face as women with disabilities. We are tired of being spectators of others doing development work. We should have, we should now come in & look at our problems & we forge the solutions to our problems. I've liked that teamwork. You see, like when we went camping, everybody was useful. We made our own tents, you know, we made our own food, & we were there washing the dishes & we were doing everything together. There was no room for loneliness. There was no room for individualism. We came together as a team & that is what we should do. You know? Internationally. With the outdoor challenges what we're really doing is facing our fears. [Susie Grimes, programme coordinator, MIUSA] we're pushing up against that notion of predictability & safety & taking risks. And whether or not you're doing this individually - like in the ropes challenge course - doing something you didn't think you were able to do or experiencing something with a... as a team, a group effort like in river rafting, the result is a sense of victory. the MESSAGE [Lisa Lester] Any woman with a disability should look within herself & whenever anybody tells you no, you can't do something, use the word "no" as a "yes". And if you have to crawl, if you have to stand on your head to move, do it. Because if you sit still the world is gonna pass you by. [Venus Llagan] Make noise, speak with your voice. I mean, women should be able to speak on their issues. They should be able to speak on what they need. [Naomy Ruth Esiaba] I want the world to know that women with disabilities are people to begin with & they are very strong women & very intelligent. So nobody should look at us like we are second rate citizens or we are lesser, a lesser group. You know, in some communities they call us disadvantaged, in others they call us less fortunate [Naomy Ruth Esiaba, teacher, Kenya] & in my country they call us "asiyejweza". That is someone who cannot help herself. Now, I know we can help ourselves so the world should have a positive attitude toward us. We are strong, we are people & we matter. I think my message is for the government to watch out, we are together, we are lobbying for our rights & we will be watching every move & we will also be holding them accountable for the promises they do make & never fulfill. And certainly for the issues which effect women with disabilities so we can create a world, [Meenu Sikand-Taylor, National Assoc. of Women, Canada] which recognises us as a woman first & then look at our abilities, which are tremendous I believe. [Larisa Tokareva, coordinator, ARIADNA - Russia/ translator's voice] Disabled women for a long time have been deprived of their rights. That's why it is very important for us to fight for our rights. [Corbett O' Toole] It's about transformation, it's about... Whenever I feel discouraged about what's going on in my life, I look at the women here & I feel like "oh!" you know "I am not alone, someone is sharing this struggle with me." That these kinds of moments really change our lives. [Susan Chitimbe] I've learned a lot & I think I'm a changed person now. If we know each other, we can love each other. To order the rescource book "LOUD, PROUD & PASSIONATE - INCLUDING WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES IN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES" or to order this video or for more information about leadership programmes, contact: Mobility International USA, www.miusa.org THE DELEGATES: Sirinee Aksonmee/ Thailand, Angela Atechara Chaisen/ Thailand, Susan Chitimbe/ Malawi, Alicia Contreras/ Mexico, Irena Dinu/ Romania, Naomy Ruth Esiaba/ Kenya, Carmen Fogaca/ Brazil, Ratna Indraswari Ibrahim/ Indonesia, Venus Illagan/ Philippines, Kim Mi Yeon/ South Korea, Karla Krissel Rivas Rivas/ Guatemala, Grenada Kurochkina/ Uzbekistan, Lisa Lester/ USA, Jean Lin/ USA, Lizzie Mamvura Longshaw/ Zimbabwe, Euphrasia Mbewe/ Zimbabwe, Katerina Merkoulova/ Russia, Dorothy Musakanya/ Zimbabwe, Safia Nalule/ Uganda, Osiline Ngulube/ Zambia, Nguyen Hong Ha/ Vietnam, Lina Parveen Chowdhury/ Bangladesh, Sushila Paudel/ Nepal, Phan Thi Bich Diep/ Vietnam, Zohra Rajah/ Mauritius, Graciela Rascon/ Mexico, Meenu Sikand-Taylor/ Canada, Lesbia Solorzano/ Nicaragua, Fiona Strahan/ Australia, Larisa Tokareva/ Russia, Regina Ubanatu/ France, Jamileh Ahmad Umar Abu El Hawa/ Israel WORKSHOP FACILITATORS: Mary Lou Breslin, Geoff Davis, Susie Grimes, Jenny Kern, Laurie Laird, Cindy Lewis, Maureen Mason, Kicki Nordstrom, Jan Sing, Susan Sygall, Corbett O' Toole, Pat Wright, All Women's Health Collective, City of Eugene/ Outdoor Programme, Womenspace, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, Grameen Foundation, Mobility International USA, Whirlwind Women, Global Fund for Women, WomensNet, World Blind Union, Disabled Women's Alliance CONTRIBUTORS: W. K. Kellog Foundation Open Society Institute National Institute on Disability & Rehabilitation Research, Partners of the Americas, United States Information Agency, Dole Foundation, Everest & Jennings: A Division of Graham-Field Inc., KLCC, Western Regional Resource Center/ University of Oregon, Travel Team, Lane Transit District, Hilyard Community Center, World Institute on Disability, Rehabilitation International, Sosangela Berman-Bieler ... thank you to ComSource & to Steve Jacobs of NCR for the generous contribution & retrofit of electronic equipment for W.I.L.D. delegates. ... & much more thanks to the many organizations, business & individuals who generously contributed to the W.I.L.D. A special thank you to the homestay families of Eugene/ Springfield without whose support this conference could not have happened. Thanks to the Mobility International USA staff & Board of Directors & a special thanks to Estelle Moore & Mark Hansen. MIUSA acknowledges Laura Hershey & Robin Stephens for their invaluable research at the Fourth UN World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, 1995: LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES FOR WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES: A CROSS CULTURAL SURVEY Special thanks to interns & volunteers who gave their time & energy. With appreciation & love to our translators, interpreters & personal assistants. The Women's Institute on Leadership & Disability was conducted in the following languages: American & Zambian Sign Language, English, Russian, Spanish Executive Producers: Susie Grimes, Cindy Lewis, Susan Sygall Producer/ Director: Dana Vion Cameras: Andy Pratt, Dana Vion Editor: Dana Vion Audio: Randi Jacobs, Dana Vion Original Music: Dana Vion I am proud to be what I am... yes © 1998 Mobility International USA All music © 1997 Dana Vion

Video Details

Duration: 13 minutes and 37 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Sky's the Limit Creative Services
Director: Dana Vion
Views: 201
Posted by: tinaki on Dec 13, 2012

This video documents MIUSA's Women's Institute on Leadership and Disability. Interviews with participants highlight the vision, determination, challenges and recommendations of women with disabilities who are grass-roots leaders in over 25 countries. MIUSA's unique model of international leadership training is illustrated as women with mobility, visual and hearing disabilities are shown in unique training workshops and team-building activities, from project development to an outdoor ropes challenge course. This is a higher quality version of one that was previously on this channel.

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