Pirkko Mahlamäki and Luisa Bosisio Fazzi have presented their candidacy for the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) elections for the Board and Executive Committee of the organisation. Voting by members of the EWL will take place online between June 4 and 6.
For her part, Pirkko has re-applied to the Board and Executive and Luisa, currently a Board member, has applied as an Alternate to Pirkko at the Executive.
Both have extensive experience in the feminist movement raising awareness on the situation of women and girls with disabilities, and of mothers and other women caring for relatives with disabilities, and working towards the inclusion of women and girls with disabilities in society.
The profile of our candidates
- Pirkko Mahlamäki
Ms Pirkko Mahlamäki is the secretary-general of the Finnish Disability Forum (since 2000) and was the first policy officer of the EDF (1997-1999). She is now an Executive member of EDF, and represents EDF as a board member of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) since 2016, having been elected as a member of the Executive Committee in 2018, she is also a member of EDF Women’s Committee.
On her application for a position within the EWL Executive Committee Pirkko stated:
“As a woman with lifelong experience of living with a disability, I have advocated for a strong women’s presence in the disability movement. Simultaneously, I have advocated that the 60 million women living with disabilities in Europe must be fully included in the women’s movement. Too many women with disabilities are living in social exclusion, in real poverty as minimum benefits or pensions do not cover disability-related extra costs.”
If Pirkko is elected, her vision is that “The EWL maintains and increases its capacities to be a strong leader driving feminist economic and social agenda in Europe as our values state.”
She has participated in several European campaigns and projects, such as the EURADE project to promote participatory research for disability equality. For her contribution to disability rights and anti-discrimination work, she was awarded the Order of Merit of the White Rose of Finland (2009) and the Human Rights Award of the Finnish League of Human Rights (2009).
- Luisa Bosisio Fazzi
Ms Luisa Paola Bosisio is currently a member of EDF Board and of the EDF Women’s Committee as an Italian Disability Forum (FID) representative. Since 2007 she is the president of FONOS – Fondazione Orizzonti Sereni, a foundation working on the needs and rights of adult persons with disabilities and their families. Luisa has been active in different organisations of persons with disabilities at a local and national level since 1990. Luisa is part of EWL’s Feminist Economic Working Group since 2018.
On her candidacy for the position of member of Alternate to a Board of Administration Luisa has stated:
“As a woman and mother of a person with disabilities, I have always fought to ensure that the rights of women and women with disabilities were brought to the attention of society and civil society. I believe that the EWL is the European organisation that succeeds in bringing together under one voice the different characteristics that women’s society expresses. As an activist for the human rights of persons with disabilities, I feel the need to bring out the situation of girls and women with disabilities.”
Having made experience in the feminist economy working group, Luisa believes that “this area is very important for developing the capacity of women to bring change to patriarchal society. I would commit myself to support inclusive models of work among all women and between women and society as a whole.”
She contributed with her expertise in projects and training courses in the field of human rights, mainstreaming of disability policies, non-discrimination in employment, rights and good quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities.
Support Pirkko and Luisa’s candidacy
To support the candidacy of Pirkko and Luisa you can contact the member of EWL in your country. You can find the full list of EWL national members here: https://www.womenlobby.org/National-Coordinations.