Nelly Bassily is an intersectional feminist, sexual rights, and anti-racism activist and media maker with over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector. Born to Egyptian parents in Montreal, immigration, diaspora, and identity also inform her activism. Currently the Director of Youth Initiatives and International Relations at DAWN Canada (Disabled Women’s Network Canada), she focuses her work on young women with disabilities and Deaf young women.
In 2020, Nelly oversaw and worked in collaboration with lead researcher Sonia Alimi on the creation of Girls Without Barriers, an intersectional feminist analysis of girls and young women with disabilities in Canada. The report identified gaps in research regarding the needs of girls with disabilities, and aimed to increase the participation of girls with disabilities and Deaf girls in girl-serving programs. In a world where the experiences of women with disabilities are often erased and overlooked, Nelly’s work is not only improving the accessibility of programs, but also increasing opportunities for Girls with disabilities and Deaf girls to develop their confidence and leadership as they witness their ideas and opinions transform into concrete actions.