Magda Szarota enjoys instigating social change with a variety of means and approaches. She is a disabled woman with invisible impairments, who for the last 15 years has been trying to bridge the worlds of the so-called disabled and non-disabled people. Her day-to-day work takes place at the intersection of grass-root activism, disability studies and human rights advocacy. She has lived and worked in Asia, Europe and the US, and is considered one of the pioneers of the disabled women’s movement in post-socialist Poland.
Magda co-authored the first shadow report to the UN CRPD on the situation of the Polish girls and women with disabilities and successfully advocated on their behalf during the 20th session of the CRPD Committee in Geneva in 2018. She is also an experienced human rights NGO executive, a certified trainer of the Polish Humanitarian Action, a graduate of the Ashoka Foundation Social Innovators Academy, and a member of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and Campaign Bootcamp networks.
Magda co-created and has been co-running Humanity in Action Poland (HIA Poland), an award-winning rights education organization of the international Humanity in Action network. She is a Member of the HIA Poland’s Management Board and is the Director of Communication and Public Relations. On top of that she initiates and co-creates educational and activist projects in the framework of the foundation’s activities, including supporting activists within the Humanity in Action network.
She is also a co-founder of the first Polish NGO run by and for women with disabilities and co-creates Article 6 a feminist disability rights collective. Magda is also a Steering Committee member of the Feminist Alliance for Rights run by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership/Rutgers University. She cooperates with Women Enabled International (US) and Sisters of Frida (UK), and received numerous merit-based scholarships, including from Yale University and the Kosciuszko Foundation.
Magda is a dual doctoral candidate at the Polish Academy of Sciences and Lancaster University, UK. She has extensively written about human rights and issues covered by feminist disability studies. She won an award for young activists from Servas International and in 2019, she was awarded the prestigious Ambassador of the UN CRPD title which was handed in by the Polish Ombudsman.
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Updated May 2020
More from Magdalena Szarota
Webinar honouring the many contributions of Alda Facio to the promotion of women’s human rights worldwide
We recommend watching the webinar, which celebrated the work of Alda Facio, a prominent feminist jurist and former Expert Member of the UN Working Group on Discrimination Against Women & Girls.
Op-Ed in the iconic Ms. Magazine!
Magda Szarota, a board member of Humanity In Action Polska, together with Suzannah Phillips, Deputy Director from Women Enabled, bring women with disabilities to the front in the debate on abortion rights in Poland.
Op-ed on the violation of reproductive rights of women with disabilities in Poland
Members of the ARTICLE 6 collective - Magdalena Kocejko, Agnieszka Wołowicz and HIA Poland Board Member Magda Szarota - write in OKO.press about the violation of reproductive rights of women with disabilities in Poland.
We recommend the new e-book “Hate. How can we stop it?”
We want the Internet to be a safe and friendly space for everyone who uses it, whether it is for work or play.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, ally of people with disabilities
It is not widely known that Ruth Bader Ginsburg a symbol of social justice, was also an important ally of people with disabilities.
Humanity in Action Poland at "The Largest Minority - How to talk about Disability" Meeting
People with disabilities are the largest social minority in the world. They are also one of the most discriminated social groups. What can we do to change it?
Humanity in Action Poland releases "On People with Disabilities"
On the International Day for People with Disabilities, Humanity in Action Poland releases the latest installment of their human rights-focused book series "On People with Disabilities"
On People with Disabilities
What would happen if Hermione Granger was a girl with a disability? Why is disability is rarely discussed in terms of diversity? Who are people with disabilities?
Humanity in Action Poland Board Member awarded title: Ambassador of Persons with Disabilities
Humanity in Action Poland Board Member Magda Szarota named Ambassador of Persons with Disabilities by Ambassador of the UN Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities in recognition of her work and advocacy for people with disabilities in Poland and abroad.
Pilot Project "Impact Hub - Social Up! Actions for Change" Presented
Humanity in Action Poland's pilot project "Impact Hub - Social Up! Actions for Change" aims to fight hate speech.
On Refugees: Why all this hate?
Why all this hate? “On Refugees” („O Uchodźcach i Uchodźczyniach”) is another interactive book in our series! This time we write about refugees.