SILVIA PIO (edited by)
I AM A WOMAN no more and no less is a book in Italian, English and Arabic including stories of Palestinian disabled women. It is edited by EducAid, a non-governmental organization recognized by the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry and funded in 2000, that comprise today associations, social businesses and people who are engaged, ethically and professionally, in educational and social work in the intercultural and international field. The title is from Mahmoud Darwish’s poem “No more and no less”, dedicated to women; Darwish was a famous Palestinian poet and writer who died in 2008.
«It is so tiring to fight the negative things people say all the time», says a Palestinian disabled woman introducing the presentation of the book. «Sometimes they do not speak, but their looks communicate what they think of me. As if I have no right to live, or go out. First, I have to fight my own fears and sense of shame, then I have to fight the world».
«Discussing disability in Palestine is not easy», thus starts Luca Ricciardi’s presentation (he is EducAid Country Representative). Dealing with the rights of people with disabilities in the context of ongoing occupation, where basic human rights are violated daily, can appear naïve. However no occupation or oppression lasts forever. Sooner or later people can become masters of their own destiny. For this reason it is important to work for a more just society now, and lay the groundwork for when the opportunity for change comes.
Women with disabilities are often hidden and silenced, their concerns unknown and their rights neglected. Palestine being a patriarchal society, they face the double discrimination of being both women and disabled, they are one of the most marginalized groups.
It is from this situation that the book I AM A WOMAN no more and no less was produced, in the framework of the project “Empowerment of Disabled People Organizations promoting Women With Disabilities’ Rights in the West Bank”, founded by the European Union.
The portraits published in the book are examples of women with disabilities who refuse to passively accept the conditions imposed on them by society. Women, who despite stigma and multiple discriminations, continue a daily struggle for rights, respect and dignity.
Photographs and design: Andrea and Magda English editing: Aslynn Degerland and Inka Stafrace.