Disability and Sexuality,  Disabled Bodies,  Gender

Obstacles to Equality of Women with Disabilities: Disability Seen as a Hindrance to Sexuality, Reproduction, Nurturance, Intimacy and Marriage

Traditionally, women are supposed to assume the roles that go in line with nurturing, motherhood, wives, and home makers and lovers. These roles are so much disconnected from the disabled women in the society. In most cases, we find that the ability to acquire the women’s traditional roles is not equated to the best women’s social success.  When we do an examination of the limitations that are faced by the disabled women, we find that the disabled women are majorly restricted within these areas. The society has created a bad image of the disabled women and they also go to an extent of attaching the negative attitudes to men who happen to mingle with the disabled women.


The disabled women face double discrimination of being women as well as having disabilities. We have seen a lot of cases of disabled women getting children and ending up as single mothers not because they want it but because they find it to be the best option. They now end up facing the burdens of being the sole bread winners as well as giving parental love and care to the children both as mothers and father figures. We find that women with disabilities are likely to never get married, this is different when compared to disabled men or even to the women without disabilities. If they happen to get married, then it happens at a very later age in life. And the possibility of divorce for the disabled women who get married is high when compared to the other two groups.  This is the same case of what will happen if a woman becomes disabled while in marriage, the woman will most likely be left as compared to a man who becomes disabled when in marriage.


Women, whether disabled or not, will happen to stay in abusive marriages because in most cases, they do not see the possibility of them surviving on their own economically, this reality is more serious to the disabled women than it is to the non-disabled women. And also it is commonly seen that disabled women will go back into abusive relationships because it may be the only intimate relationship they have a thought of in life. The other thing that the disabled women are fighting with or for is the matter of sexual orientation; in places where same sex affairs is openly practiced, we see that the non-disabled lesbians are seen to be more welcoming to the disabled women as compared to how the non-disabled heterosexual women take in the disabled women. But yet still, this has come with some challenges attached to it.


The disabled lesbians are faced with some challenges that are seen to be experienced by the heterosexual disabled women. This comes with the hardship of establishing intimate affairs as well as long lasting relationships with partners. In the present generation, we find that women do not prefer marriage as a good status, and also they do not look at the most traditional roles as the best for them. This is easier for non-disabled women to choose as compared to the disabled women, this therefore shows that disability has denied these women even the power to make choices and decisions even on matters affecting their lives on very personal levels. They are not in good positions to choose between the traditional and non-traditional life styles. Their access to even the most traditional options is seen to be very much restricted due to their disabilities and the societal attitudes and stereotypes.


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