VSI – Vision Spring Initiatives

SOCIETY AND PATRIARCHY: Empowering Persons with Disabilities and Women

It is no secret that we live in a patriarchal society that often marginalizes and overlooks the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs). People with disabilities have been subjected to shame, discrimination, and societal neglect as if their condition is their own fault. Their voices remain unheard, and they are often pushed to the sidelines. In some instances, they are even taunted, implying that they should excel academically to compensate for their disabilities, with little regard for their social lives and overall well-being.

Furthermore, our society imposes limitations on women, particularly those with disabilities. Women are expected to be meek, submissive, and without a voice in political, social, and religious spheres. Our society expects us to conform to these norms, and any form of dissent is deemed inappropriate, as men are perceived as the ultimate authority figures who dictate the course of our lives.

The discrimination faced by PWDs extends beyond education and politics; it infiltrates even the healthcare sector, where one would hope for security, compassion, and love. Some medical practitioners have even gone as far as suggesting that childbearing should be reserved for able-bodied individuals alone, reducing the significance of marital unions to reproduction alone.

Consequently, PWDs are made to feel unsafe, insecure, and burdened with shame. Many battle depression and low self-esteem due to the constant derogatory remarks and societal expectations they must endure solely because of their disabilities.

Furthermore, society often justifies and normalizes men’s infidelity, while condemning any deviation from expected norms for women. We are expected to suppress our own desires and needs, serving only to satisfy our “lords” and avoid their wrath. We have been conditioned to hide our own sexuality, while men are allowed to freely express theirs, even receiving praise for doing so. It is disheartening that women have become their own enemies, resistant to change and adhering stubbornly to oppressive rules and traditions, knowing deep down that they are unjust.

We find ourselves in the midst of a digital age, witnessing changes that our ancestors could never have imagined. It is high time women support one another and openly declare their ambitions and dreams. We must recognize that women with disabilities are entitled to the same rights and opportunities as any other citizen. They are an integral part of society, and their voices deserve to be heard and amplified, rather than confined to the background.

Together, let us stand against gender-based violence, Together, let us reject the discrimination faced by PWDs, Together, let us challenge and dismantle patriarchal systems, Together, let us affirm that women are born to lead, Together, let us break down the barriers of disability, Together, let us recognize the immense abilities within disability

By Adenike Fabusuyi-A RH of the We-lead Project.

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