On February 3, 2022, the Dutch Women’s Foundation Mama Cash presented the publication If you Stay Silent, you Stay Invisible, wanting to share with donors, other women’s funds, feminist movements, and movements for rights of persons with disabilities their insights on how to provide feminist activism for rights of persons with disabilities better support.
It is a collection of stories based on in-depth interviews with the leaders of eight groups from different parts of the world, including IZ KRUGA VOJVODINA. The stories contain their voices, work, dreams, and challenges, and what they say they need from the donors and other activists for social justice. Common to all groups whose activism we learn about here is that through a feminist approach, they work to promote the rights of women with disabilities and are financially supported in the long run by Mama Cash.
Mama Cash funds feminist groups and movements led by women, girls, trans, and intersex people that are self-led by the people who benefit from the group’s advocacy, that are putting under-addressed and/or contested issues on the agenda, and that are addressing the root causes of oppression and pushing for change that is transformational of systems and societies.
In recent years, the number of applications for funding from groups of women and girls with disabilities received by Mama Cash has increased significantly compared to the previous period. The foundation understood that this speaks not only to the urgency of the issue, but also to the energy that feminist disability justice activists are bringing to their organising and to growing their movements.
If you Stay Quiet, you Stay Invisible contains stories from Bangladesh (Women with Disabilities Development Foundation), Columbia (Colectiva Polimorfosa), India (Anjali), Izrael (Women’s Security Index Coalition), Kyrgyzstan (Nazyk Kyz), Madagascar (Association des Femmes Handicapees de Madagascar), Serbia (IZ KRUGA VOJVODINA), and from one more country that is not named for security reasons.
Although the experiences are different, common themes are noticeable: fight against the stigmatization of persons with disabilities (perceived by the general population as less worthy or as passive help receivers); the importance of associating, removing internalized stereotypes and autonomy building; the need for an intersectional approach; the need for donors that listen and hear.
If you Stay Quiet, you Stay Invisible in English can be read here.