Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

Women with Disabilities

Two days after my accident, bruised, concussed, and propped up in a hospital bed, I received a phone call from the guy I had been dating. He didn’t know I had almost died in a high-speed collision; he happened to call by chance.

Ten minutes later, one of the nurses walked in to find me sobbing into the front of my oversized hospital gown. I was hysterical – but I’m pretty sure the insane amount of painkillers in my system was responsible for that. As criers go, I’m usually pretty subtle. I once cried so inconspicuously in the arms of an old boyfriend that even though my head was resting just below his chin, he didn’t notice.

I had been dumped, because, as the guy put it, “This is too heavy for me to deal with.”

Lying in bed, my mind jumped back and forth from the process of forgiving him to the trip that now seemed impossibly far away at just a time I wanted to be far, far away from California. Which made me think: how many disabled women in the developing world are abandoned annually by their spouses and families? And when they are abandoned, how do they take care of themselves? What are their mortality rates?

Unable to find answers right away (my head trauma made – and still makes – reading difficult), the questions were on my mind for weeks. Only today was I able to start researching the issue. Here’s some of what I’ve found:

According to DAWN Ontario, the unemployment rate for disabled women in the developing world is virtually 100%. Globally, women with disabilities are the poorest of the poor.

Disability World states that disabled women are often overlooked for microfinance or small-scale business development projects.

The United Nations Development Program estimates literacy rates for these women is 1%.

The Independent Living Institute reports that disabled women have difficulty finding and keeping spouses.

There do seem to be some organizations catering specifically to the disabled. However, the statistics for this particular group of women are still enormously depressing.

I wish I had some idea of what could be done to create better support networks for the disabled in the developing world. The sparse one here United States is my only model, and because I’ve seen the way the system has treated my disabled family members, I don’t think it’s a very effective one. Heck, I don’t think it works that well for the temporarily disabled, either. Minus the brain trauma (which I’m told may or may not be lasting – only time will tell) I’m not permanently disabled; yet because I’m presently unable to work, I’ve forfeited each day’s wages since the accident. That’s right: I’m currently pulling in zero income, and the ambulance bill, auto insurance bill, and hospital bills are already starting to come in. What little money I had saved for the future is all promised away, and I’ll be continuing to pay these costs once I’m able to resume work again. But just think: if my health woes were chronic and kept me from ever returning to my job, forget about saving for my trip. In fact, forget about saving at all. I have no idea how I’d be able to eat and pay my bills.

I’m adding a visit to one of the global organizations that work with the disabled to my trip to-do list. Maybe observing their practices will provide some ideas.

Comments

Leelee's picture

Thanks for sharing - and now

Thanks for sharing - and now we know your ex is an idiot! But better we found this out now than down the road. I know we are all far away but I am here for you and I wish you the best and most valuable recovery. It really takes something drastic sometimes to make us consider how fortunate we are and how we can work to improve the situation for the less fortunate....

'Harlem: A Dream Deferred' - Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
Like a syrupy sweet?

ellie.writes's picture

Thank you for your support!

Thank you for your support! I'm touched by your kindness. It's a nice surprise to connect with people on this level.

I hope you and your father had a pleasant time celebrating his birthday :)

olutosin's picture

Women With Women

My Dear Elles, I am not sad, I will not cry I just want women worldwide to support to support women with special. Needs, we have handled lots of issues, this is minor, I will say minor because acoording to a friend on pulsewire Impossible means I'm Possible! We can do it, let us decide to support every women with disabilities in our community, even if we are poor, we will share smiles with every women with disabilities we meet everyday of our lives, we will determine to show them the way whenever we do not have any way by ourseves. We will work and work with these women and God will do our own works too. My Dear sister, look within yourself, there is that inner strength, tap into it, it is abundant, you did not receive any call from your creator that He has abandon you! We are here for you, that I am sure of, We are here for one another. I love you sis, I love you. If the world likes, let it listen to the voice of wisdom. For us here, we have seen the Light!

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

olutosin's picture

Women With Women

My Dear Elles, I am not sad, I will not cry I just want women worldwide to support to support women with special. Needs, we have handled lots of issues, this is minor, I will say minor because acoording to a friend on pulsewire Impossible means I'm Possible! We can do it, let us decide to support every women with disabilities in our community, even if we are poor, we will share smiles with every women with disabilities we meet everyday of our lives, we will determine to show them the way whenever we do not have any way by ourseves. We will work and work with these women and God will do our own works too. My Dear sister, look within yourself, there is that inner strength, tap into it, it is abundant, you did not receive any call from your creator that He has abandon you! We are here for you, that I am sure of, We are here for one another. I love you sis, I love you. If the world likes, let it listen to the voice of wisdom. For us here, we have seen the Light!

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

ellie.writes's picture

Thank you for your kind

Thank you for your kind words! :)

Celine's picture

Hi Ellie

Hi Ellie,
How are you today? I feel joy reading your writing, joy in the sense of a sincere feeling from your heart. To me, it is a sense of solidarity, love and concern for fellow women from developing countries living with disabilities. You may refer to one of my write-ups; The Place of Women with Disabilities in Nigeria. I am sure that will give you an idea of the situation. I for one, am not daunted by the situation because I still have some hope.
In love and solidarity,
Celine
Divine Foundation for Disabled Persons.

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

Mkandeh's picture

Ebola: Sierra Leoneans feel like prisoners

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

EMAGAZINE: Bridging Borders

EMAGAZINE: Bridging Borders

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative