Theoretically and practically, stigma is the core element of the data and research in the area of concern here-Experiences of Women With Disabilities in the Society. Two aspects of stigma – the perceptions and beliefs about disability and stigmatized behaviour are linked, despite being considered here as separate components. ( BBC News On-line 2015).
I got a close interest of learning what some Kenyan tribes have/had in mind on matters regarding Women With Disabilities. In the Luo community they use the name rang’oul to call the disabled in general, such a term carries a lot of wait in trying to express the person who is being referred to as one with a very big and un-correctable blemish.
A woman in the society was likened to a pot which is a sign of storage of all that is used to sustain life in the community, a pot that was broken was looked as a useless pot that could neither fetch water nor cook food. So a woman who had a disability was teased indirectly by the saying that goes agulu mo tuch ok nyalo tedo chiemo, ji nyalo tho gi kech, this is translated to mean that a pot that is broken cannot be used to cook food and people might starve to death.
In relation to a disabled woman it can be said that she is not fit to maintain the well-being of the family and the family needs may not be well met. Perceptions and behaviour act to mutually reinforce each other. Preconceived ideas and beliefs affect cognitive responses and these responses and the primary perceptions about disability lead to certain types of behaviour. There are different cognitive scope, which stimulate varying responses to disability and the responses, which affect behaviour towards the stigmatized individuals. Beliefs and perceptions can be identified and therefore differ at the individual, family, community and society level. The stigmatization process will also be shaped by the cultural,
religious and social characteristics of the society within which it develops, “not simply the biological characteristics” of the disease.