142 chapter 7: Sexuality
Learning about sexuality
Too many girls with disabilities first learn about sex when someone abuses them or
lures them into having sex. Health workers, family, friends, and helpers can include
girls and women with disabilities in talks about sexuality and womanhood. Include
disabled girls in sex education programs and teach them about sexuality. This can
help protect girls from men who want to take advantage of them. For information
on sexual abuse, see Chapter 14.
I never got any sex education.
I heard my mum talking with
other women, but she never
talked with me. She never
expected me to get married,
so she thought I didn’t need to
In some communities, girls learn about
becoming a woman from a respected elder in
their community. In other communities, girls
have special ceremonies when they become
women. In still other communities, groups of
girls get together to share experiences. They learn
from each other as they talk about the latest
hairstyles and clothes, boyfriends, and their
favorite pop stars. Girls with disabilities need to
be included in these gatherings.
I learned about sexuality
by listening to other women
talking. I wish someone had
spoken to me directly, so I
could have asked questions of
My mother never told me
details. If I asked for details,
she threatened to hit me.
Mostly, I learned from my
My aunt knew I could get
married. She taught me
about being a woman,
just like she taught other
Girls and women with disabilities need to
learn about becoming a woman, about
sexuality, and about relationships.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007