122 chapter 5: Taking care of your body
What communities can do
Communities can do a lot to improve the conditions that will allow us to take care
of our bodies so we can remain healthy. Many women with disabilities are poor
and some live isolated lives. Like everyone else, we need access to care, nutritious
food, clean water and sanitation, and a safe place to live. We also need the
companionship and respect of our neighbors. Talk to us and to our families about
things the community can do to help us look after our health.
• Some of us may need daily care from our families and helpers. Community
leaders and neighborhood groups can arrange other help so our needs can be
met and our family and regular helpers get a break.
• Many older women with disabilities are very poor, live alone, or have a hard
time finding someone to help us. By arranging for helpers or companions—or
giving practical support in other ways—the community can greatly improve our
• Help us farm our fields or go to market so we can have enough good food.
• Work to make sure that women with disabilities have access to clean water.
• Organize your community to build or remodel latrines and toilets so they can
be safely used by people with disabilities (see page 123).
For more information on how communities and families can stay healthy,
see Chapter 10 in Where Women Have No Doctor, and the booklets Sanitation and
Cleanliness and Water for Life.
We need regular health
checkups by health workers
who are committed to our
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007