Women with disabilities have for a long time faced neglect from the disability studies, and also this has been seen to be common in the feminist scholarship and the worst is that the issues affecting women with disabilities have been ignored by disability rights movements. We find the attitudes of the society running through even to the disability rights movements and also in the feminists’ movements. The society has for a long time looked at the disabled women as women who are roleless and very dependent thus ignoring them when issues of inclusion and mainstreaming are being addressed. The women with disabilities have now turned to doing the advocacy on their own that is why we find there are many feminists with disabilities fighting for the rights of disabled women.
The society has played a big role in intimidating the disabled women, the beliefs that go around about disability affects women more than it affects men with disabilities. The disabled women also face discrimination amongst themselves mostly depending on the severity of their disabilities, types of disabilities, social status, level of education and so forth. These issues revolve around social dimensions like class, race, ethnicity as well as sexual orientation. There are a lot of writings that have been done by the disabled women themselves especially on their personal experiences like being women and having disabilities, some of the issues they present include isolation, desperation, poverty, being powerless, silently going through abuse, neglect and so forth.
These, they express in anger and bitterness and they wonder why other people are celebrating achievements, their strength, happiness and also fulfillment inspite of the daily struggles. The writings that have been done are seen to be talking about the different barriers that the disabled women face; the disabled women are seen to be worse off when compared to the disabled men and also the non-disabled women.
Disabled women lack economic security as well as social support and their access to sexuality and intimacy. There is need to combine scholarly studies and feminist studies. This will help to explore the combined discrimination based on disability as well as gender. But the other challenge is that some writers have also presented the disabled women as roleless. And when the audiences hear about this then they get new strength to discriminate against the disabled women and this leads to the stigma and discrimination that the disabled women face in the society today.
The roleless aspect that is attached to the disabled women comes as a result of the limited social roles available for them to undertake, there is also a very big absence of institutional means for disabled women to achieve adult roles thus making them to be treated as merely dependents who cannot even make decisions on their own including on matters affecting their own lives.
The writers have also been biased when presenting issues facing the disabled women, we find that the writings are mostly done about women with physical disabilities, the women with mental or even those with developmental disabilities are not well represented and little if not nothing is written on their experiences. The areas that need a lot of exploration are the reproductive and nurture, the education sector and also the employment area. These areas affect the disabled women more than they affect the disabled men or even the non-disabled women in the society.