The closing conference of the No Means No project, “Women with disabilities resist violence”, took place online on December 3 2021, the Day of Persons with Disabilities. This conference sought to set violence against women with disabilities and feminist self-defence on the European agenda, to inform European decision makers about policy gaps and good practices, as well as to provide a space to women with disabilities for self-advocacy.
The event was opened by Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality, who introduced the conference, and was followed by speakers from the different partner organisations sharing the results of the project in the different countries. In the afternoon, we had the chance to welcome Liz Kelly, from the London Metropolitan University, who shared crucial insights on feminist self-defence as primary prevention of violence and we are thankful that Lydia La Riviere Zijdel, from Stichting Lydia Zijdel Foundation (who has successfully trained our trainers in the No Means No project!), talked specifically and eloquentely about feminist self-defence for women with disabilities. Her intervention was followed by Carina Tränkner, Wendo trainer from ZIBB (Centre for Inclusive Education and Counselling), who presented the inspiring project “frauen.stärken.frauen”, a training to become self-defence trainers for women* with and without learning difficulties. Last but not least, the conference was concluded by Evelyn Regner, Chair of the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee of the European Parliament. The whole day was professionally and warmly moderated by Liz Chornenki, a Disabled fundraiser from Canada.
With over one hundred participants, including women with disabilities, participants from the anti-violence and disability organisations and public institutions, we are proud of our achievement.
The official languages of the conference were English and International Sign Language and it included simultaneous transcription in English. The conference was also translated simultaneously to French and Belgian-French Sign Language (in the afternoon only for the latter) and to Polish and Polish Sign Language.
You can rewatch the conference in different languages: