Awareness creation,  Education,  Gender,  Gender Based Violence

Obstacles to Equality for Women with Disabilities: Decades of Writings and Development of Writings on Women with Disabilities

It is a common thing to find that most of the research studies that have been carried out on issues affecting the disabled have not taken into consideration the importance of gender and many other social dimensions of life which include but are not limited to; social class, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, level/severity of disability etc. The experience of living with a disability automatically darkens the way an individual experiences the areas mentioned above. We find that even the so called sensitive disability students have focused on disability related issues as a form of unitary concept and they have even gone a step further making it to be a “master” status as well as an exclusive status for persons with disabilities. They have done their so called disability research with a gender blind approach when examining the challenges of the lives of persons with disabilities. There is a big gap where we find that they have not put gender into consideration and the influence it has on the lives of the disabled men and women separately.

When we look years back, it was very hard to find enough to read about women with disabilities. Though this has made a few steps from the past, we still see that there is still a lot to be learned and to be written about when it comes to the real experiences of the disabled women. Presently, we find that there is a vigorous move towards writing on disability issues of the disabled women, this in most cases has been contributed to by the disabled women themselves who have had a chance to get education and are in a good position to talk about the challenges faced by the disabled women in the society from their personal experiences as well as interactions in their circles.

We still need to go on with the empowerment of women with disabilities especially in the field of education/acquiring/advancing education-wise, this will give them an opportunity to write about the real challenges faced by the disabled women hence awareness creation in the society as well as sensitization on issues of importance to women with disabilities. The area that needs to be highlighted the most is about the experience of being a woman and having a disability which is the double handicap of women with disabilities. This will make the society aware and stop looking at women with disabilities as roleless. We need to encourage disabled women to write their autobiographies as well as the challenges faced by women with disabilities from their perspectives.

There is need to show a clear status of how the disabled women have been disadvantaged in terms of education and also in matters to do with employment and all spheres of life. These are experiences that negatively affect disabled women when compared to how they affect the disabled men or even the women without disabilities. There is still a big dilemma when we talk about disability rights and reproductive rights, these are issues that affect the disabled women more than we merely imagine.

Women with disability face a multiple experiences of minority status, they have disabilities, they are women, and they lack information and platform to talk about their own lives and experiences. Women with disabilities face a lot conditions that perpetuate the structural inequalities of their lives as disabled women. When these issues are well addressed, the thinking of the society will definitely change to the positive.

Women with disabilities need to always say they are disabled, they are female and they are proud and not feel as though being women and being disabled is unacceptable. This will even provide an opportunity for girls with disabilities to get role models from among the women with disabilities.  The other things that need to be aired through writing are the sexual abuse and assault faced by the girls and women with disabilities.


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