A woman's reproductive system 77
What families and caregivers can do
Parents and other family members can:
• Accept that she is becoming a woman changing just like any other girl.
• Help her meet other girls and women with disabilities.
• Encourage her to develop friendships and activities outside the home. This will
help give her confidence and a sense of herself.
• Give her good food and timely health care.
• Talk to her about sexuality. Encourage her to ask questions and express her
feelings about her sexuality.
• Protect her from sexual abuse.
In some communities, the ceremony to mark a
girl reaching puberty is a big event to let people
know the girl is “grown up” and ready for
If you live in a community that has
ceremonies to mark the change when a girl
becomes a woman, make sure your daughter
has a coming-of-age ceremony.
What health workers can do
In some communities in India the girl is given
a ceremonial bath and dressed like a bride.
A grand feast follows and the participants
present gifts to the girl.
Make sure to include girls with disabilities in any health education projects you
organize for girls to learn about their bodies. Teach families and schoolteachers of girls
and women with disabilities that the body of a girl or a woman with a disability
is almost always the same as that of a girl or woman who is not disabled.
A woman’s reproductive system
In many ways, a woman’s body is no different from a man’s, whether
or not one of them has a disability. Women and men both have
hearts, kidneys, lungs, and other body parts that are the same. But
their sexual or reproductive parts are very different. Many women’s
health problems affect these parts of her body.
The sexual and reproductive parts of women with disabilities
and women who do not have disabilities usually look and work
in similar ways. The sexual parts outside the body are called the
genitals. Inside, they are called the reproductive organs.
A woman’s reproductive organs
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007