June 6, 2022

Reflection: How to make feminism accessible, by Maria Barile. 2000.

Maria Barile

I remember very well the first time I had this booklet in my hands, modestly bound, but full of treasures to achieve real solidarity between women with multiple identities.

Maria Barile, an immigrant with a disability, knew in her bones that her social experience could not be understood by and reduced to a single angle of analysis and political demands. Until the end of her life, she worked to stop the systemic violence experienced by women with disabilities in Quebec. Defining herself as a feminist, her focus was to ensure that women from the margins, including women with disabilities, were considered within Quebec feminism. And this is precisely where her analyses, her political and reflexive tools have been decisive in globally advancing women’s rights, but also for research, because it makes it possible to forge the pillars of feminist research and criticism of ableism. It formats what we wanted to consolidate within DAWN, i.e., connection research with its communities with its main stakeholders, and with real social change. It leads to considering and consolidating militant research, research that centres around the voice of those concerned and aims at social transformation. Our research projects and their methods, such as More Than a Footnote, Girls Without Barriers, Rooting Resilience and many others, are the granddaughters of her analyzes, particularly her report How to make feminism accessible. Thank you, Maria Barile, for this wonderful legacy. It is up to us to carry on her torch.

Sonia Alimi
Senior Research Associate