What is disability? 9
Resources and opportunities
In many communities, women have fewer resources and opportunities than
men. This inequality between men and women is also true among people with
Wheelchairs, artificial limbs,
sign language classes, Braille
slates (which enable blind
women to read) and other
resources are often expensive
With more resources, we
can be seen and heard
and have control over our
and less available for disabled
women than for disabled men. Without
aids like these, girls and women with disabilities
have a hard time getting education and doing
things for themselves. As a result, they are less
able to get jobs, to take control of their own
lives, and to take an active part in the life of
Many women with disabilities cannot use community facilities, banks, or
hospitals because most buildings have no ramps, handrails, elevators, or lifts.
Physical barriers make it difficult for women with disabilities to move around by
themselves. When women are stopped by these barriers, they are often unable to
get good food, enough exercise, or the health care they need.
Many people, including health workers, may believe that if a woman who uses a
wheelchair cannot get into a building because there are only stairs, then she must
learn to wear leg braces, or use crutches, or have someone carry her. It is not her
disability, but the physical barriers that make it impossible for her to get into the
building. If there was a ramp so she could roll her wheelchair into the building,
there would not be a problem.
I am a mother with a physical disability,
and I have a son who is also physically
disabled. Every time we go to a restaurant
or a supermarket or any other place, we
have to be carried up and down the stairs.
This attracts a lot of attention. It is really
degrading and makes us feel less human.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007