16 chapter 1: Disability and the community
• you have sexual desires, and you can be sexually active.
• you can marry and have children.
• you are capable of having sex, but may not want to have sex.
• if you have difficulty learning or understanding, you have
neither more nor fewer sexual needs than other women.
• you will most often give birth to babies who do not
have disabilities, just like other
• you are a good mother.
• if you have a physical
impairment or a learning
disability, you are not
mentally sick or unstable.
It’s too bad
I didn’t make the gods
unhappy. I was injected with
a dirty needle when I was a
baby. That’s why my leg is
• you do not curse people or curse children and
you are not a bad omen to be avoided.
Working for change
A woman’s disability affects not just herself. It affects many people: her family,
friends, and most of all, her community. A woman with a disability can become
more healthy when those around value and support her. Changing the way women
with disabilities are treated is hard work. But it is not impossible.
I dream of a day when people
from around the world finally
understand that having a disability
is not the same as being sick; and
that we are usually very healthy.
And like all women, we need to stay
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007