There is this hidden fact that women with disabilities have been neglected by the disability field, the feminists’ fraternity and the gender movement. This can be well confirmed by what we see has been written in the past decades from now. When you compare the lives of women with disabilities and that of women without disabilities as well as that of men with disabilities, you will find that women with disabilities face a lot more discrimination and they are more disadvantaged.
The discrimination that women with disabilities face are seen to have an origin in three main areas, which are; the traditional female area, the education sphere and employment area. Most of the aims of people to bring about mainstreaming talks about inclusion of persons with disabilities but when the outcomes are well analyzed, you find that the favour men with disabilities only leaving out women and girls with disabilities.
There is lack of recognition of the multiple discrimination faced by disabled women from disability, feminist and gender perspectives. And we also see that the policies and the practices in the disability field have not been designed well to meet the specific needs that are needed by the disabled women. The other most shocking truth is that the disability movements have ignored issues that are of great importance to disabled women, and we also find that there is a very loud complain from the feminists with disabilities about the male domination of the field and also the male orientation.
This is seen from the way the disability movements have paid a lot of attention to male issues and the women concerns have not been given the required audience. Issues facing women with disabilities like child bearing and generally reproductive health have been ignored. The disability movements have just been seen to be acting like the rest of the social change movements that are seen to be existing, they have directed their all their efforts to primary male experience which has seen the disabled women to face a long time experience of discrimination.
This has made the feminist with disabilities to be uncomfortable being members of the disability rights movements.
The discrimination and the cases of being ignored has been seen to be a chain from both those who are concerned with disability issues as well as the feminist movements too. There is a cry from the feminists with disabilities about the feminist’s scholarship for their experiences being excluded from the analysis done by the feminists. This is seen even among the well-known feminist scholarship which has been noted to be doing well in attempting to integrate the diversity of the female experiences, but so sad that the experiences of women with disabilities have not been put into consideration at all. Even the most recent cries of being left out from the feminist thoughts as well as the calls for accountability on the differences among the women population still is seen to be doing all these without putting the women with disabilities on board.
Even though some disability feminists and feminist with disabilities have gone a step further to publish about the challenges they face, still the feminist movement has not given any required attention. Instead, the feminist’s movements are seen to have joined the men in relegating disabled women to a realm beneath their intellectual and political ken. You may find that even when the feminist movements plan for meetings and conferences, they do this in places that are not easily accessed by the disabled women; this has even made the disabled women to cry more. And also the materials that are used are only in print which makes it hard for other women who have other types of disabilities not able to follow the proceedings of such meetings and conferences. This means that there is no tape or Braille and at times even the sign language is rarely provided. The feminist movement has both been seen to be physically inaccessible as well as ignored the challenges of women with disabilities in a general way. Women with mental disabilities are the ones who face a lot of challenges that go unheard off or even not talked about. This has brought about a lot of comparing and contrasting from the feminist with disabilities point of view.
The societal attitudes that are attached to the disabled women are the source of the many stigmatizing experiences faced by the disabled women. The society in most cases will look at the disabled women as helpless, they are treated as childlike, they are seen to be dependent, needy, victimized and also very passive. This has seen the society to be reinforcing the traditional stereotypes of women. This can be seen as a reason as to why the disabled women are excluded from the feminist movement. The non-disabled feminists have severed the disabled women from sisterhood in their strong effort to advance and become more powerful, more competent and also to be seen as appealing female icons on the society.