Day 3 UK Government CEDAW examination

Sisters of Frida

On Day 3 (July 17th), the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women  considered the seventh periodic report of the United Kingdom on its implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

This is the day we were building towards with the oral presentations, lunch presentations – we gave the CEDAW committee our concerns to help them formulate questions to the those representing the UK government – the panel was led by Helene Reardon-Bond, Director of Policy, Government Equalities Office. The delegation of the United Kingdom in the room included representatives of the Government Equalities Office, the Home Office, the Department of Health, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom to the United Nations at Geneva, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive.

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At the European Parliament Disability Intergroup, Strasbourg

Sisters of Frida

written July 14th 2013

Last week the Disability Intergroup* of the European Parliament met for the launch of a new report on Women and Disability prepared by rapporteur Angelika Werthmann (MEP). In her introductory speech Ms Werthmann explained the initiative had sprung from a (non-disabled) women’s group concerned to further include disabled women in their focus, but that for her  (and many in the womens group), disability was an entirely new subject so preparing the report had been a learning curve. Personally I felt a bit wary of what she might say initially, but  then before she expanded her presentation she made a specific invitation to Intergroup members and attendees to consider sending her further amendments which would be factored in the final publication.

Her report highlights the specific barriers to full participation and inclusion in society faced by disabled women, and was warmly welcomed by all attending…

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@CreativeCrip in the Media: Society Guardian 17 Jul 2013

I’ve been mentioned in today’s Society Guardian Daily regarding @FridasSisters & #CEDAW2013#disabilityUK #disability #DisabledWomen #cedaw13

You can follow the Sisters of Frida Blog here.

Day 2 Oral presentations to the CEDAW committee

Sisters of Frida

We set off in the morning with the IWRAW group by bus to the UN Palais de Nations. We were unable to go in with the others however because apparently we were not registered inspite of having the emails which said we should be. however we were not the only ones, Elizabeth Sclater, of the older women’s delegation was also in the same boat.

When we got our badges we went in and was in time to join the young people, Big Voices group to do the building tour. There were some impressive rooms.

More importantly we joined the others for lunch to discuss final details for the oral presentations.  We had about 10 mins in all for UK, and presentations were to be given by England, Scotland and N Ireland, Wales was not able to come. We were also given information about who was in the CEDAW panel and…

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Day 1 Meeting the CEDAW working group UK delegation in Geneva

Sisters of Frida

“No ability to exhaust domestic law renders CEDAW meaningless”  Cris McCurley from NE Women Network

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Disabled women in Geneva for the 55th session of CEDAW questioning UK government on women’s rights

The Sisters of Frida

Press Release

” It is essential that disabled women are represented in processes like CEDAW reporting as too often our experience as disabled women is invisible, this is an opportunity to change this and show how the cuts and legal changes are affecting us”

–  says Zara Todd, Sisters of Frida steering group member.

For the first time, disabled women (Sisters of Frida) will take part with other women’s groups from the UK in Geneva to address the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) so as to highlight the problems impacting on women’s equality in the UK and what our Government must be examined on, and held to account over, by the UN. This is a unique opportunity for women to raise the key issues they are facing with the UN and the eyes of the world will be on the UK and their progress on women.
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Some “Claims” about DisRightsUK – the charity behind #HardestHit (AMENDED)

News on @DisRightsUK from Benefits & Work Email last week (originally tweeted via Twitlonger here, here & here).

The email is now publicly available in the B&W News Archive here.

 

DRUK WORKING FOR CAPITA ON PIP
We can also reveal that leading disability charity Disability Rights UK (DRUK) has signed up as a paid sub-contractor to Capita, to help the company carry out personal independence payment medicals in central England and Wales. There is no information on DRUK’s website about the arrangement with Capita.

The deal with Capita was sealed some time prior to 2nd May 2012, since when DRUK continues to claim it is considering bringing a court case to prevent PIP being introduced. The charity also still leads the Hardest Hit campaign against benefits cuts and heads up the Disability Benefits Consortium.

Capita’s bid document quotes DRUK as saying:

“Disability Rights UK is delighted to endorse Capita’s approach to learning, development and continuous improvement.”

Capita make it clear that they are paying DRUK not just to advise them on accessibility issues and to recruit senior disabled staff, but also to pass on information gained from DRUK members. The bid document explains that:

“. . .we have committed to employing a resource within DRUK dedicated to capturing the views and experiences of claimants and those impacted by PIP. DRUK has over 1,000 member organisations which should allow for broad capture of ongoing claimant experiences.”

You can download the successful Capita bid documents for Wales and Central England here:

http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2012-1399/A_Capita_Doc4Part5TenderForm_LOT2.pdf

http://data.parliament.uk/DepositedPapers/Files/DEP2012-1399/Capita_Doc4Part6Annex2_Lot2.pdf

 

DisRightsUK is headed by the odious Liz Sayce, responsible for the Sayce Review “which was commissioned to look at how the £320m protected budget for disability employment could be used more effectively to support thousands more disabled people into work.”

DRUK & their partners are clearly working to a specific #fitforwork ideology given their shafting of Remploy – and this latest action as a so-called ally of disabled people shows just how twisted the Hardest Hit Campaign & Disability Benefits Consortium are also.

 

EDIT:

Disability Rights UK have updated their website to disavow havuing a contract with Capita, stating:

We are shocked that anyone could think Disability Rights UK would get involved in any way in delivering PIP assessments. We oppose the cut which will mean 500,000 disabled people are made ineligible for support. (A private competitor has claimed Disability Rights UK is seeking a role in delivering PIP assessments. This is incorrect).

Our only role is to ensure that disabled people have access to the best possible, independent information and advice on our rights, which we hope to provide for free. We are not sub-contracted by Capita. We advised Capita on how to ensure people got good advice on their rights. We are not capturing disabled people’s views or doing anything relating to Capita’s delivery – we recently turned down an invitation to be part of their reference group.

We did have discussions with Capita – but decided we would not work with any PIP contractors other than in our core role as providing rights based information and advice to disabled people. There is no contract.

 

Interesting that ATOS is lying re DPAC and DRUK claims same re Capita.

Note (1):  the PDFs that Benefits & Work included in their story regarding DisRightsUK & Capita are no longer available via the specified URLs.

Note (2): A couple of the PDFs referred to by Benefits & Work are accessible via Google Cache:

Thank you to @boycottwokfare for the tip. Both files can be saved to Google Docs and downloaded via Google Drive.

See also:

Tender documents for the delivery of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Assessments [redacted]. 75 docs.

PQ 119481, PQ 119482, PQ 119483, PQ 119484 and PQ 119485

 

Thank you to johnny Void for the tip.

 

ADDENDUM: Changed “Facts” to “Claims” in title in a cynical bid to calm down Poverty Pimp defenders.

 

Related Information:

Meanwhile back at the ranch… CreativeCrip 8 Months #AfterESA

Regular readers of this blog and followers of the related @CreativeCrip Twitter account might recall in February of this year I rashly pulled myself out of ESA hell in favour of being self-employed. Being honest – I knew at the time that I still wasn’t ready to make such a move. Atos phoning me at home about another WCA was the catalyst. I literally could not face having to deal with them again and was so desperate that taking myself off the merry-go-round seemed like the only thing that would bring some relief.

It’s been touch-and-go ever since, largely because of the appalling lack of support from my old GPs & CMHT Psych Team. As I’ve said before, being a Native American merely Permanently Resident in the UK is not without problems. Every inquiry and appointment turns into an immigration interview – which is not only unnecessary it is quite inappropriate. One of the things that I constantly struggle with in trying to get help is that the professionals I am meant to be dealing with don’t leave their politics and prejudices at home. It’s much the same dealing with engineers from telephone companies, supermarket delivery drivers and neighbours. Everyone has really strong opinions on immigration, benefits and disability and there is no hesitation in imparting their wisdom to me no matter how malicious and ill-informed.

I’ve had to make even more changes in the aftermath of dropping my ESA claim.

  • My finances were in such a dire state that I had to borrow money to be able to move house and secure it by paying six months up front. There is no feeling of failure quite like crying to your mother at the ripe old age of 46 and having her cash in some of her pension to bail you out.
  • Instead of the accessible ground floor flat that cost £650/mo (downgraded from another ground floor flat that was £800/mo) in Cardiff, I am now living in an old split-level miner’s cottage in the Valleys that is nowhere near being disabled-friendly. It only costs £375/mo – great for someone with very low income. Accessible bungalows and ground floor flats come at a premium I simply cannot afford having already exhausted my redundancy on paying the mortgages of other people.
  • I need to find a new GP and essentially start all over again, hoping that I’ll get the support and referrals I need to manage my complex health needs. I haven’t found the courage to actually get myself out of the house to do this – and October marks three months living here.
  • When I moved house this past July I hadn’t seen my old GPs in over a year – our relationship was *that* adversarial. I just couldn’t cope with having to deal with them again knowing that, quite frankly, they really didn’t give a shit what happened to me as reflected in their attitude every step of the way.
  • The meds I need I haven’t had for some time now so of course my mood and manner are more down than slightly down (I’ve never been an “up” person and never will be). Having said that – there is a difference between Clinical Depression and just being in a foul mood. I am at least astute enough to recognise which is which in myself., but of course not having effective treatment for the Clinical Depression doesn’t help. I had been on 200gm of Sertraline a day but hypersomnia won out. The fact is that the Clinical Depression *is* really kicking my tail in every way, shape and form.
  • It seems that I may be an undiagnosed Aspie (and the results of Simon Baron Cohen’s online test support this along with some others) – but unfortunately before anything could be explored on that basis the old CMHT changed Psychiatrists, which they did every few months it seemed. I also missed a lot of appointments because I could not make them for physical or financial reasons or both. Making appointments three months in advance was never going to work. I also begged the CMHT to allow me to have phone conferences. This was laughed at…why I don’t know.
  • I have now been on a list to see a spinal surgeon for over two years. Every time I contacted the hospital they were annoyed and told me they would get back to me. Now that I’ve moved house I will have to get a new referral.
  • I am also overdue for knee surgery and this has severely impacted my mobility. Again I will have to get a new referral thanks to the house move.
  • I am angry about my situation and who I am because of it all the time… and no matter what I try it just doesn’t subside. As I’ve said before, all I’ve ever asked for is the help and support I need to get back to having a somewhat productive life. I’m not the only one in such a predicament but it astounds me still that politicians from all three major UK parties have strong opinions about disabled people and work, yet they seem to go out of their way to make things as difficult and inhumane as possible for us. Everything from Disability Living Allowance to Access To Work to Working Tax Credits is such a nightmare to navigate and especially for anyone who is completely alone.

Some people say that I have to “fake it until it’s real” and other similar Mindfulness pearls of wisdom along admonishments to “play the game” – both of which go down like a lead-weighted balloon. Being fake just does not compute. I am who I am and what I am is tired… just so very tired of the never-ending fighting for absolutely everything in every part of my life. And I am acutely aware that for every person who might *get* what I’m saying there will be a number of detractors. That’s fine… I can only ever tell the truth – my truth. It’s the same for all of us.

So here I am carrying on doing everything that I am told to do and hoping against all reasonable hope that things will get better.

 

 

@CreativeCrip Suspension UPDATE – Funny olde world indeed

So… the third party who brought me into what is obviously a bogus situation and who couldn’t be arsed to reply to me on Friday now has this to say about my blog relating the details of my suspension:

“I dont even know why I am answering such silly nonsense.  THis just nonsense. The _____*whose ID I have temporarily forgotten) is someone I like talking to. @creativecrip is not. I blocked. “

O really?!!

That is QUITE the change from Friday where she happily tweeted my @CreativeCrip account, castigating him as an idiot and relating the woeful tale of him getting his followers to gang up on her (which others have seen, by the way thanks to searching my ID).

Funny that she’s tweeted a link to my blog calling me out – and has now protected her Twitter account!

Being a liar and a hypocrite aside, what can she possibly be afraid of?