Women have continued to fight for their gender rights and freedoms because oppressive patriarchal systems in society have sidelined them (Aisen 1997). Human rights apply to all human beings including men, women and children. However, women have been marginalized in virtually every aspect of society. The struggle for sexual and reproduction rights has therefore continued for a long time among women especially those with disabilities. Disabled women’s bodies are a major shortcoming in their struggle for sexuality and reproductive health. Human sexuality is at the center of life, as such body impairment distorts the image and outlook which the society adopts as far as disabled women reproductive health is concerned.
Sexual abuse of women has been rampant in many countries of the world with particular emphasis on nations facing political instability (Alexander 2007). The situation is even more compounded with the emergence of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Women have many roles assigned to them due to their feminine nature including motherhood. Women, therefore, hold the foundation of the society at their disposal as far as their reproductive health is concerned. However, disabled women’s bodies are often seen as incapacitated in terms of conceiving children and their upbringing is concerned.
Sexual abuse and oppression
Oppression against disabled women is more pronounced than normal women since their bodies are more vulnerable due to natural abnormalities associated with their conditions (Anderson 2005). Disabled women are abused and oppressed across all countries irrespective of social, economic and political differences. Disability presents enormous challenges to women who are already marginalized as invisible members of society through progressive patriarchal systems and structures. Their disabled bodies act as hindrances to their sexual fulfillment and reproduction.
Disabled persons constitute the minority population groups in various regions of the world. Women on the other hand are greater in number than men according to global statistics on population dynamics (Banks 2003). However, women have been incapacitated by a masculine society in many aspects including their reproductive health and matters to do with sexuality. Disability, therefore, compounds the situation since it creates additional physical challenges to women already discriminated against by their society which they enabled to bring forth.
Disabled women are exposed to challenges such as massive joblessness, poor remuneration, and inability to afford or access health care, illiteracy, inability to exploit effectively opportunities appropriate to women in addition to physical and sexual abuse. Physical disability is manifested through abnormalities in their senses, physical and psychological faculties that are rendered functionless by an ailment or genetic predisposition (Best 2005). Their disabled organs then discriminate them from normal members of society by design.
These disabled women have to fight harder than normal women in order to pursue their dreams and ambitions in life. They have to overcome huge obstacles to successfully achieve their career ambitions and to earn a living like other ordinary persons in the midst of a competitive society.
Society is actually biased towards women with disabilities since they are perceived to be grossly incapacitated by their bodies to the extent that they are not productive. This pessimistic mindset about disabled women restricts their access to social forums that could improve their chances of establishing healthy and romantic relationships with other members of society. Inability to hear, speak and memorize facts restrict their potential to be aware of their surroundings as well as understand their sexual needs adequately (Brian 2007).
Women are therefore viewed as sexual objects by their male counterparts who then take advantage of them for their own pleasure. This is because society finds it difficult to accept persons with disabilities as equal members to the rest of the normal people. This marginalization and discrimination serve to psychologically torment the women instead of providing them with support in their condition (Campion 1995). Since society perceives the disabled as sexually inactive with fertility problems, their bodies are merely used for sexual fantasies instead of procreation.
Disabled women require urgent and regular medication in order to facilitate their life. For instance, physically and emotionally challenged women to need constant medical check-ups as a measure to prevent serious complications from occurring (Chall 2004). Access to reproductive health facilities such as family planning is remote and limited to their restricted body movement, intellectual ability, and support from guardians. Due to their impaired bodies, there is a need for innovation of reproductive health facilities peculiar to their condition. For instance, mentally handicapped women cannot sexually intimate with normal individuals unless they are medically assisted to reproduce using other methods apart from sexual intercourse.
Women with disabilities are equally abused in health institutions since they are deliberately abused as portraits by medical interns without their consent (Chin 2004). They are videotaped and photographed by medical personnel who then use their images as training materials for health practitioners without their prior knowledge. This contravenes their human rights as well as demoralizes them. Their self-esteem is therefore eroded and cases of disabled women contemplating suicide are common. The same medical professionals, who are supposed to treat and rehabilitate their conditions, resort to using them as objects for scientific experimentation without even seeking their permission. Disabled women’s bodies are therefore abused in pursuit of selfish medical agendas at the expense of their health.
Some of these experiments performed on disabled women are not beneficial to them in any way (Chrousos, Mastorakos& Creatsas 2009). Several countries have adopted legislation to abort unborn babies once diagnosed to be potential disabled persons. Mothers are advised to discard disabled fetuses while still in the womb in order to save them the agony of raising disabled children in a society that does not appreciate their existence. Euthanasia is equally performed on disabled bodies forcefully. When admitted to hospitals for urgent medical attention, they are denied an opportunity to resuscitation meant to sustain them when their lives are in danger such as during cardiac arrest (Daniel 2006).
The resources assigned for health facilities for disabled women are far much less compared to their male counterparts. As much as women experience the same medical conditions as men, financial resources are channeled to health programs that are meant to support men. It is obvious that disabled women being unemployed and financially dependent on their guardians and parents are not a priority to health providers including their governments. Disabled women are also denied maternal health facilities since society does not appreciate their motherhood (they are not supposed to have children). There are also old-fashioned traditions such as female genital mutilation disables normal women. This is often done to reduce their sexual potential without which they are considered to be immoral (Davies 2002).
Personal information related to disabled women’s bodies is deprived of confidentiality exposing them to prejudice and embarrassment. In addition, important medical information regarding their health condition is withheld since it is not presented in the right manner to them for instance Braille for the blind. Genetic counseling regarding the origin of their disabilities is also not provided to disabled women. Mothers who are expectant of disabled babies are simply advised to abort. Consequently, disabled women are constantly challenged by deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS and cancers of the breast and cervix (Davis 1988).
The mystery surrounding their sexuality is also withheld. Disabled women are denied sex education by both their family members and their caregivers. As such, the women are exposed to unwanted pregnancies often occasioned by rape in addition to the imminent reality of sexually transmitted diseases (Davis& Bass 2002). It is also difficult for poor women with disabilities to obtain and control financial resources independently. They are therefore unable to afford therapy and reproductive health facilities when needed. Their sexuality is therefore neglected as a result of their disabled bodies, marginalization and abuse.
Marriage and family
Women with disabilities are oppressed right from their family backgrounds which attach stereotypes to their condition (DeCherney& Janet 2002). Family members segregate these women by their abnormal body makeup ignoring their character and talents as normal human beings. The qualities of these women are therefore hidden behind their bodies that apparently disfigure their image in society. Family, friends, and close relations regularly disown disabled women since they are embarrassed to associate with them in any way. Their sexuality is particularly not recognized since they are perceived to be less attractive for marriage.
As far as sexuality is concerned, women with disabilities may be considered to be sexually inactive depending on how conspicuous is their disabled bodies (Disch 2009) They are therefore sexually starved and marginalized by other members of the society complicating their chances of raising a family of their own or even being adopted. Their disabled bodies are considered to be directly proportional to their inability to become wives, mothers and even raising adopted children. Their disabled bodies, therefore, create additional challenges in their fight for sexual and reproductive health occasioned by distorted myths.
The physical challenges that are brought about by their disfigured body parts develop much misery, torment, fear, and frustration that may end up killing their dreams and aspirations in life (Dziedzic 2009). When other normal women are compelled by society to get married and sire children for their husbands, disabled women are denied opportunities to motherhood and romance denying them the happiness that accompanies such as social relationships. Consequently, disabled women have boring lifestyles with limited company and uncertainty about their sexuality since their romantic feelings are assumed to be an extension of their disabled nature.
From childbirth, disabled women are considered a misfortune rather than a blessing the way normal children are typically received with joy as a gift from God. This family discrimination culminates into societal oppression as their adulthood cannot be appreciated (Estelle 2003). In some societies, women with disabled bodies are considered to be condemned by nature such that they can only give birth to children with bodies similar to theirs. As such, there is a tendency to sterilize their genitals in their childhood in order to bring to an end their cursed generation. However, there are a few couples with a partner having a disabled body in civilized societies.
Self-esteem and social stigma
The fight for sexual and reproductive health by women with disabilities can therefore be evaluated based on their individual perceptions regarding the underlying issues related to their bodies (Evans 2008). Disabled women are therefore achievers or failures depending on their self-esteem and whether it is strong enough to overcome the social stigma attached to their bodies. The fact of the matter is that structural modification of their disabled bodies may not restore a completely positive image in society about their sexuality. However, they are capable of ignoring the sideshows brought about by a disabled-insensitive community through positive thinking ( Fathalla, Dickens& Cook 2003).
The fight for sexual and reproductive rights should therefore go beyond their disabled bodies in order for them to achieve any meaningful progress. They have to suppress the negative connotations associated with their disabilities as well as upgrade their personal image since most of them succumb to the imminent oppression. The majority of the disabled women perceive each other in the same manner the society frames them thereby living lonely lives in poverty, disease and misery. Sexuality among disabled women is therefore attached to the extent to which they are proud of their natural state above the image in their community (Florence 2009).
Due to their bodies, disabled women are considered inferior to other women by family members, friends, and the rest of society when comparing their appearance to conventional beauty. The apparent discriminatory messages become integrated into their minds as a permanent label of weakness. Disabled women, therefore, have limited chances of enjoying sexual intimacy with other normal members of society. Women with these disabled bodies equally consider their bodies negatively since it restricts their social relationships so much that they cannot explore their sexual adventures satisfactorily (Ghai 2003). A disabled woman thus becomes invisible and extensively marginalized from the social arena.
The family is the basic unit of society (Gupta 2005). When a disabled woman is deprived of her sexual and reproductive rights, she becomes invisible because the procreation of their generation is largely restricted. Without a family of their own in the prevailing discrimination within the society, disabled women have their fate sealed in their pursuit of sexual and reproductive rights. It appears retrogressive and unfashionable to have a romantic relationship with a disabled woman if one has a normal body.
Stigmatization of their bodies makes the disabled women vulnerable as a subject of ridicule in society (Hansen 2004). The frustrations that accompany the labeled disabled bodies, therefore, magnify their disability further with psychological trauma. Since society appears to expect little from disabled women in virtually all aspects of their lives, they are left in confusion as their disability transcends into a nightmare. As a result, disabled women suffer from rampant insecurity arising from emotional pain in their quest for sexuality and reproductive health.
Idealization of the body
The extent to which a disabled woman achieves self-actualization in life is dependent on the degree to which they fit into the perception and image the society attaches to the feminine body. Beauty is often attached to a slim woman’s body thereby condemning the overweight shape to ugliness. The fight for an ideal woman should therefore go beyond physical characteristics to qualities that are neither unique to a normal or a disabled body. Disabled women’s bodies are therefore a disadvantage in their fight for sexuality since they are not considered beautiful according to the standards set by society (Hekman& Alaimo 2008).
Society needs to adopt a paradigm shift in terms of the cultural values and qualities that define success, beauty, and sexuality with reference to the place of a disabled woman. Not all women can achieve to get the famous slim body which is apparently the symbol of beauty and splendor in modern society. As such, disabled women and other women do not need to modify their bodies, for instance, through plastic surgery, in order to be culturally ideal and perfect.
The “perfect body” notion is normally publicized through the media in the promotion of a celebrity culture dominant among popular members of the society (Lezzoni 2003). What follows is a tedious and painful process as women explore ways to modify their natural body shapes in order to acquire the “perfect body” and image cherished by society. Disabled women also pursue these episodes in an attempt to invent their sexuality as well as acquire reproductive privileges.
It is apparent that disabled women get entangled in the desperate search for a sexy figure with little success since their impaired bodies work to their disadvantage. The notion created by these initiatives emphasis the point that the ideal and perfect body refers to the non-disabled one and one that assumes the celebrity body propagated in the society (Jaggar 1994). The language used in describing a feminine disabled body in the media is equally oppressive since it frames their bodies as a major shortcoming and weakness.
The picture captured in people’s minds is that disabled women are incapable of obtaining the desired ideal body cherished by society. The result is an extension of the apparent discrimination into their sexuality, emotional stigma, and psychological pain (Jones& Bywater 2009). The message brought forward is that disabled women are beyond the reach of esteemed beauty. The bodies of these disabled women are often compared with that of typical women in describing their highlighted deficits.
The nature of our bodies informs human imaginations and individual perceptions that we have about the present and future developments in our personal growth, social integration, and career dreams. People, therefore, explore to know their personal identities through meditation as well as through the socialization process in their society. As such, society is capable of shaping our behavior and aspirations in life since we obtain the legitimacy to pursue our dreams in order to fit in the expectations of society. It, therefore, becomes frustrating when the same society labels and attaches negative attributes to our biological makeup (Kato 2009).
Disabled women are therefore oppressed severely when their personal issues are swept under the carpet by a careless society that is ignorant of necessary human rights applicable to everyone irrespective of their bodies. Discrimination of women with disabled bodies thus complicates their perception of self. Their personal identity is disfigured systematically since the disabled could be perceived to be lesser women or a completely different gender altogether. As a result of the harsh experiences that disabled women have, supposedly due to their imperfect bodies, they develop a distorted mindset about their human nature and sexuality (Kenney 2008).
The human body has to be appreciated as a means of exchanging different attributes and features for mutual benefit. When some features of the body are neglected or abused due to their disabled nature, physical and emotional interaction becomes impossible (Kent 2008). Consequently, women with a disability find it difficult to perform normal body functions such as dressing, showering, and feeding because they do not like themselves. The situation is even compounded when they are encountered with sensual activities with a sexual orientation such as undressing and massaging since they find it undesirable.
Professionals tasked with the duty of nurturing disabled women have taken advantage of disabled women by exposing their naked bodies without their informed consent. In essence, the women have no liberty to make personal choices regarding their sexuality and reproduction. Their nude images are often published in medical journals as well as videos sold carrying the embarrassing scenes without their knowledge. Disabled women are therefore by virtue of their bodies subject to sexual subjugation by society (Kes, Gupta& Grown 2005).
The disadvantaged women, who have experienced abuses from childhood, have their minds programmed to yield to societal pressure. They typically believe that their bodies are merely attractive for medical reasons. The internal qualities are substituted with petty consideration for body characteristics for cosmetic purposes. Disabled women are then compelled to look for all possible ways to modify their bodies, adopt beauty makeup as well as endure painful mutilations of their organs. This is done in an attempt to respond to the pressure from society as well as obtain some degree of sexual attention and attraction as a result of their weakened self-esteem and stigmatization (Knight& Bullard 2008).
Activities that are done regularly with ease among ordinary women, such as cooking, dressing, and bathing receive unnecessary public attention among disabled women often with romantic connotations. Young people learn and discover their talents as they go through schooling through interaction with their peers. Children play together and in the process of socialization, acquire abilities to work in a team as well as appreciate each other’s capabilities beyond their body characteristics (Koenig& Askin 2009). On the other hand, women with disabilities are isolated and abandoned in their homes where they are equally marginalized and hidden. The socialization aspect associated with normal human growth and development becomes arrested by primitive chauvinistic ideologies.
It, therefore, follows that disabled women are not able to interact with other people freely thus they are unable to engage in fruitful relationships. Disabled women are therefore financially incapacitated to make independent decisions without receiving donations from well-wishers. Their illiterate background means that they do not have the necessary communication and negotiation skills to convince other members of society to support their cause. Otherwise, disabled women remain confined in their homes enduring all manner of abuses ranging from the amorous language used to describe their bodies to sexual exploitation. These women are able to endure such inhuman acts visited against them due to their economic dependence, fear of further discrimination from the society in addition to their illiteracy (Likis& Schuiling 2005).
As such, they are unlikely to report the oppression which they face in their daily lives. The plight of these women is also rooted in the premise that they are born in poor households particularly with single mothers as their sole breadwinners. Unemployment further aggravates the problem as they are unable to earn a decent living let alone cater for their basic needs such as food and health care. Financial dependence on other members of the society also increases the level of prejudice experienced by disabled women from society. Alternative options to sexuality as a means to independence and adulthood are therefore bleak (Localizado 2008).
This state of affairs compounds the situation which disabled women get into in the fight for sexual and reproductive health. Since women have been culturally taught to believe that divorce is unacceptable, they are forced as mothers to live with their husbands in order to support their children especially when they are disabled. However, disabled women on their own are not able to penetrate the social barriers that have worked against their human rights (Marsh 2002). The support that mothers can provide to their disabled daughters is restricted to the extent to which their male counterparts are willing to subscribe to their cause.
However, the disabled bodies that the women have sometimes interfered with their communication abilities thereby complicate their chances of rehabilitation and learning opportunities. These women are therefore subject to sexual abuse in their isolated residences by malicious rapists. The rapists actually believe that abusing disabled women is not a crime but a way to respond to their sexual needs which have been sidelined by society (McCarthy 1999).
Since society portrays disabled women as weaker females as well as lesser human beings, rapists and other criminals who abuse them obtain the justifications to do so from the biased background (McKay-Moffat 2007). The rapists are therefore motivated to select disabled women for sexual exploitation and abuse because society attaches little value to their existence. People are less grieved when disabled women are abused than normal persons to the extent that society finds relief from their deaths.
Their disabled bodies are even considered a hazard to society especially those with mental retardation, sensory disabilities, and the physically challenged (Neinstein 2008). When criminals persecute disabled women with these challenges, they find it easy to evade justice on account of the condemned disability. Disabled bodies, therefore, become a thorn in the flesh in the lives of the disabled women in their fight for justice, equality, and sexuality in a society that does not appreciate them at all.
As a result of sexual violence and exploitation, disabled women become infected with venereal diseases, emotional pain, and physical injuries which require medication. Medication is however a remote possibility to the marginalized impaired women. Since they are unable to afford health care, disabled women are forced to endure illness which results in additional health complications to their disabled bodies. The degree of helplessness is severe among disabled women living in remote rural areas. Disabled women are not entirely vulnerable because of their bodies but society disables the women beyond body impairment (O’Hara 2008).
The social barriers created by society to segregate disabled persons add to the plight of women with disabled bodies. Access to important information regarding their condition is restricted to those who are learned and without visual and hearing impairments. When disabled women are not aware of their bodies, they are left to rely on hearsay and negative statements from other members of society with ulterior motives. Disabled women are not accessible to services peculiar to other women such as saloons, reproductive health clinics, fashion designer boutiques, maternity hospitals, rape rehabilitation centers, and counseling facilities (Owens 1994). This is because they are perceived to be lesser women who are sexually irrelevant.
Disabled women are often faced with difficulties in movement due to the impairments in their bodies. The same predicament faces women suffering from HIV/AIDS since several countries prohibit cross-border movement between nations by HIV/AIDS-positive persons. This restricted movement prevents disabled women from interacting with fellow members of society freely which explains why few disabled women sustain fruitful relationships that could lead to marriage. Inability to walk, see and hear restricts the degree to which they can have meaningful interaction with normal members of the society culminating in catastrophic incidences (Pearse& Seltzer 2008).
It is equally a burden for society to shoulder disabled women’s daily requirements since they are considered a nuisance. Their sexuality is therefore a remote possibility that is beyond reach to many of them. For those ordinary women who were already married before their bodies were disabled in some way, they risk getting divorced or being separated by their husbands. Disabled women are therefore not secure in their marriages. They are equally denied conjugal rights and personal effects. Since their emotional needs are not met, they are psychologically disturbed and confused, which could result in mood disorders (Scott 2009). Their disabled bodies are considered unattractive for sexual intercourse by their lovers who prefer normal women considered to meet beauty standards outlined by society. As a result of their disabled bodies, these women lose their sexuality and reproductive privileges helplessly.
Representation of disabled women bodies
Media representation: New momism
There is a substantial misrepresentation of women in the media through the creation of artificial images about the ideal mother with the ability to raise children as well as develop a successful career at work. An ideal woman as portrayed in media circles is one that is capable of not only having healthy children but also strong enough to nurture their growth and development with her whole being. This means that a disabled is substantially limited in devoting her entire physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual being towards a complete upbringing of her children (Sweetman 1995).
Sexuality in disabled women is therefore far-fetched in a disabled-insensitive society since her impaired body is not ideally fit enough to sustain motherhood. The question of whether disabled women’s bodies are a hindrance in their struggle for sexual and reproductive health is therefore answered within the perceptions that “new momism” presents in the popular media. The impaired bodies are an obstacle to ideal beauty prescribed by society in addition to the shortcomings that they present disabled women within their pursuit for motherhood.
Alison Lapper sculpture in Trafalgar Square
The Trafalgar sculpture of a naked and pregnant disabled woman with emaciated legs and without arms is both controversial and monumental as far as disabled women’s sexuality and reproductive health are concerned(Thorne 2004). It is monumental since the disabled body is represented as heroic due to its strategic location next to the famous Nelson who brought victory to Britain in the battle of Trafalgar against France. Nelson Mandela statue next to the sculpture is a symbolic manifestation of the struggles that characterize disabled women’s sexuality.
The veteran politician fought hard against apartheid discrimination eventually rising to national leadership. Disabled women are equally able to achieve their rights in their quest for sexual and reproductive health with determination. The disabled woman is illustrated as being pregnant which raises pertinent questions regarding the disability agenda on reproductive health since society wonders who could have slept with the disabled body in the first place.
The notion that disabled women’s bodies are not sexy remains controversial in a society that has a distorted mindset about disability (Turk, Nosek& Krotoski 2007). The marble sculpture is embedded with flesh to signify the possibilities of achieving a better life and sexuality beyond the constraints of disabled bodies. It demonstrates the struggles that disabled women undergo in order to discover their sexuality and respect in society. The sculpture is therefore symbolic of the missing aspect of reproductive health in women with disabled bodies. The pregnancy is genuine and the child a reality of the life cherished by disabled women beyond the perceptions in society.
Aimee Mullin becomes a supermodel by augmenting cheetah legs which perform the same roles as human limbs for walking as well as running. Her prosthetic legs were similar to the natural limbs since they served the same purpose in propelling Mullin to athletic stardom, modeling and acting (Wolper 1995). Despite her disabled body, she was motivated by her passion for prosthetics and what technology offered to augment her vision in life. This represented her as a beautiful figure with a strong will to succeed in life above challenges presented by disability.
Kelly Knox succeeds in the fashion industry to become a beauty model despite having a disabled body. This is a major departure from conventional beauty standards enshrined in society which portray disabled bodies as imperfect and ugly. Modeling is typically reserved for normal-bodied women with an edge on specified standards on beauty in the community. However, the lady appears confident and determined in her quest to be a model, sexy and influential despite her body impairment. She is therefore one of the few role models among disabled women to be admired by society.
Conventional beauty got replaced in the world of modeling with the emergence of disabled women as beauty idols (Ghai 2003). Kelly fought hard through the competitive auditions and equally impressed the judges for her magnificent prowess in modeling emerging victorious as Britain’s peculiar model. This is also exemplified by Ellyn Stole determination to sexual power and celebrity status in order to counter extreme childhood abuse by satisfying her self-esteem.
Women with disabilities have limited opportunities for their sexuality and reproductive health. They have not appreciated as other normal women for their traditional roles as sexual partners in romantic relationships apart from the limited interaction they get from society (Florence 2009). They are therefore condemned to live in isolation and misery without any hope for a better future. There are limited chances for health care and employment opportunities provided to them by society. The fight for their sexuality is therefore destined to fail without the support of the entire society.
Non-disabled persons are therefore supposed to accept and appreciate women with disabled bodies as human beings. They should then be empowered with reproductive health facilities that recognize their impairments in order to facilitate their sexuality. This is important in equipping them with appropriate skills and positive thinking. Disabled women also require job opportunities in order to be self-reliant. This shall also serve to improve their economies as well as promote their socialization process in the entire society. People will then understand their predicament and appreciate them too. Solutions will then emerge for their sexual and reproductive health concerns (Evans 2008).
The disabled women have to be understood from the perspective that they are human beings with feelings and emotions for romance and sexuality. As such, the community needs to appreciate disabled women as a gift from God which should be loved and take care of. Their talents and capabilities have to be appreciated too in order to tap into their rich potential. Their hidden qualities which are more resourceful than their bodies should be used in evaluating their contribution to society (Dziedzic 2009).
In the same wavelength, disabled bodies that are a subject of controversy in the struggle for sexual and reproductive health among women should be addressed medically. Advances in technology have led to improved health care with the possibility of carrying out reconstructive surgery; brain scans and use of artificial limbs in aiding disabled women to have normal lives, without unnecessary ridicule and prejudice. There is a need for government intervention in financing health programs that empower the sexuality of disabled women with access to family planning and sex education (Gupta 2005). Nurses, gynecologists, and other professional caretakers of disabled women should equally be trained on the best approaches to be used in managing disability in women.
All stakeholders in the leadership of the society should be made aware of the difficulties facing disabled women as a result of their impaired bodies in order to change the present malicious attitudes. The government should and civil society groups should work together to enact legislation that prohibits the inhuman abuse of disabled women. Criminals that target disabled women for abuse should be severely punished. Medical doctors that misuse disabled women should be accused of professional misconduct and appropriately punished (Best 2005). Health professionals with outstanding work ethic and committed to assisting the disabled recover from body complications should be highly rewarded.
Disabled women should equally join hands in advocating for their rights. They need to rise above the negative image attached to disability in society by keeping their focus on their basic human rights such as health care and employment opportunities. They need to forgive fellow family members and the society at large for ignoring their plight in order to seek support in advocating for friendship and fruitful relationships (Banks 2003). They also need to appreciate themselves the way God created them in order to suppress negative feelings, thoughts, and perceptions about their disabled bodies. The concerted efforts combining a disabled-conscious society and a positive-minded disabled woman will finally integrate the matters of sexuality and reproductive health into the welfare of the impaired women.
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