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13 September 2021

21 October - Access, Disability and Human Rights – A Global Conversation

[Image description] Rectangular art piece, showing two people facing each other and reaching with their hands towards each other, while sitting in the field of bright flowers. One person has black hair, and another has mostly red hair with hints of blue. Flowers are pink, purple and yellows, with green leaves and stems.


Time: 1:30 PM

Venue: Online, hosted by Front Line Defenders

Access & Language: Event will be held in English and French, Irish Sign Language interpretation and English captions provided.

Tickets: Free


Amy Sakho,jurist, feminist activist, Senegal
Meerim Ilyas, Head of Protection, Front Line Defenders, USA/Kyrgyzstan
Maria Ní Fhlatharta, founding member of Disabled Women Ireland
Shivangi Agrawal, Determined Art Movement, India

A conversation on access and disability justice as part of global human rights agenda through the lens of diverse speakers.

The purpose of this event is to offer a space to hear directly from feminist disability rights activists, who work on a wide range of intersecting issues, including art for movement building, reproductive rights for women and girls, access, well-being and leadership. We hope to help the audience dispel stereotypes and assumptions about disability movements locally in Ireland and globally.

Speakers will give examples of how the dominant culture of ableism can create challenges in their personal lives and their movement building work, and how assumptions about disability and access can diminish their visibility and recognition in the broader human rights context. And to celebrate, always, our lives, our perseverance and our disabled joy!

Amy Sakho

Amy Sakho is a lawyer, who is a coordinator of the Boutique de Droit (advice and assistance center for the most disadvantaged populations, particularly women and girls as survivors of violence and people living with disabilities) of the Association of Senegalese Jurists (AJS). Amy also works on national strategies, particularly national policies and regional and international legal instruments signed and/or ratified by Senegal in connection with gender equality and the protection of vulnerable groups.

A feminist activist, Amy has also been the coordinator of the advocacy committee for access to safe abortion in cases of rape or incest in Senegal (bringing together 22 civil society organizations) since its creation in 2013. Since June 2021, she has been the gender equality specialist at the Center for Canadian Studies and Cooperation (CECI), Senegal office.

Maria Ní Fhlatharta

Maria has a particular interest in legal capacity and reproductive decision making, as well as access to reproductive health care for marginalised groups. She is currently working on the Re(al) Productive Justice Project at National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG). She has addressed a number of conferences on issues relating to reproductive rights and disability, both in Europe and internationally. Maria has a keen interest in reproductive justice and worked on the campaign platform for “Together For Yes”, which contributed to legalising abortion in Ireland in 2018.  She has spoken on a number of TV and radio panels on issues of human rights and equality. In 2018 she was involved in the negation of the Nairobi Principles on prenatal testing, which address the intersection of disability rights and women's rights. Maria is a board member of the Disability Rights Fund and holds an LLM in Comparative International Disability Law and Policy and is a graduate of the BCL in NUI Galway Law. Previously she was active in the marriage equality campaign in Ireland, which led to the legalisation of same sex marriage in Ireland in 2015. She is a founding member of Disabled Women Ireland, which is a feminist disabled persons organisation representing disabled gender minority people.

Shivangi Agrawal

Shivangi is a disabled and queer activist and artist with a collective called Determined Art Movement (DAM). Their art practice involves journaling, creating zines, poetry, painting on big canvases, walls or unique surfaces like their prosthetic shoes and wheelchairs! They like to use the various forms of art for justice, collective organising, live documentation of political narratives and radical thoughts. They also work as an interdependent consultant, researcher, writer, advisor and facilitator with an emphasis on advocacy for disability, sexuality, gender, policy, content creation and accessibility.

Find them on Instagram and Twitter @DisabledSpice

Meerim Ilyas

Meerim joined Front Line Defenders in 2019 and currently serves as a Head of Protection, to help oversee the coordination of protection for Human Rights Defenders at risk. Meerim also has a specific focus on strengthening Front Line's support for women and LGBTIQ+ human rights defenders, and overall organizational systems and policies as relevant to gender equality and intersectionality. Prior to FLD, she was a Senior Program Officer at the Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights, where she led work on holistic security for WHRDs, and coordinated outreach, advocacy and grant support for environmental and indigenous WHRDs. Meerim was born and raised in Kyrgyzstan, and is a key resource person for LGBTIQ+ activists in Central Asia and other regions who are in need of assistance. Due to personal experiences, Meerim has a deep commitment to issues around access and disability.