Monday, March 15, 2010

Regulation of Disabled Women’s Sexuality

Regulation of Disabled Women’s Sexuality

In general, women’s voices for their specific rights in the disability rights movement in India are hardly present. Voices of disabled women is almost absent in the mainstream women’s rights movement.

The politics of ‘normal’ or ‘able’ bodies and minds is further complicates disabled women’s identity. Societal norms with regard to the ‘ideal’ womanhood and the ‘ideal body’ render physically disabled and mentally challenged women invisible. They become objects to be hidden, never to be seen, heard or felt.

Since feminism is a politics of the oppressed against being pushed to the margins, disability, in my view, is a feminist issue. As an oppressed group, disabled women and men face challenges related to educational and training opportunity, inclusion, occupational attainment, economic status, and social outlets. But disabled women face particular issues of reproductive rights; control over their bodies; physical, sexual and emotional violence; and sexual rights and representations, which are considered taboo topics by the disability movement.

It is important, therefore, that feminisms in India change towards inclusiveness and support the disabled women in rejecting the traditional subservient and invisible role. There is a need for a new emancipatory politics for the disabled women, which is led by the disabled women from the centre of the Indian women’s movement.

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