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20110301 The Role of Women with Disabilities in Community Based Inclusive Development


20110301 The Role of Women with Disabilities in Community Based Inclusive Development

Women with disabilities are disadvantaged in several key areas when compared with other women, men with disabilities, and the society as a whole. Women with disabilities face a triple handicap and discrimination due to their disability, gender and developing world status.

It is estimated that approximately 300 million women and girls around the world have a mental and/or physical disability. Globally, women make up three-fourths of disabled persons in low and middle income countries; between 65 percent and 70 percent of these women live in rural areas. Despite this alarming situation, persons with disabilities, especially women with disabilities, have remained largely invisible in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Initiatives for community based rehabilitation programs have often been top–down, initiated by policy
makers at locations far removed from the community level and designed without the involvement of
persons with disabilities specially voices of women with disabilities completely unheard.
 
This Paper provides deeper insights into the thinking of women with disabilities about leadership and
community based development, the barriers they perceive as women with disabilities, their leadership
styles, and strategies that should be undertaken to facilitate and promote their status and roles in
community based development.