International Women's Day - Double Discrimination.
In, ‘ The Myth of Women's Inferiority' Daniel Gaido states, "One of the conspicuous features of capitalism, and of class society in general, is the inequality of the sexes. Men are the masters in economic, cultural, political and intellectual life, while women play a subordinate and even submissive role. Only in recent years have women come out of the kitchens and nurseries to challenge men’s monopoly. But the essential inequality still remains".
Today as women celebrated international women's day, most differently abled (disabled) women are battling a serious double dose of discrimination, 'female with a disability' this continues to 'justify' a low education level that results in rates of employment and low wages, increase in sexual and physical violence, limited access to fighting for justice and to health services and facilities.
Every single woman has a role to play in society, and I am tempted to say that some women's roles are greater with a higher calling - As a differently abled (disabled) woman, this comes with complications, criticism, belittling and so often being thought to deserve 'not the best' in life. The majority of us are still battling double discrimination - two minority identities 'female with a disability'
Yes, I may be a 'female with a disability' but I make it happen in life. I have dreams, aspirations, etcetera. I know first hand what it means to live at the corner of disability and womanhood. I know what it feels like to suffer discrimination and encounter barriers in life. Yet so many women like myself are rising up with resilience, strength, and enormous potential to make it happen in life.
We often speak of having dreams, they say to be successful one must have a dream ... I believe in making the dream a reality - turn that dream to reality, make it happen.
As a woman who is differently abled (physically challenged) I have learned to set realistic goals.STEPS;
1. Identify - once you identify your dream, let your mind crave it, believe in your dream, start to visualise the end goal and have belief that you can achieve it. It was difficult for me to identify but once I knew my life's purpose - I am now able to set goals related to my dreams. It is important to set goals. I am able to discover what I specifically want to create in my life that serves to bring me joy while serving others in some capacity.
2. Find ways to make it happen - you may need a time frame for certain dreams, dreaming alone is not enough, how do you go about achieving it? ..I am never afraid to ask for assistance . E.g BPF .. Create awareness of polio and PPS....
3. Put methods/ into practice - it may get tricky but persistence is key... It's like setting out on a journey .. to get to your destination, you have to take a step to start moving. Stay stagnant it gets you nowhere.
When 'Ms. Doubt' sets in, I call on my 'miss affirmation' that helps me get rid of self-doubt that mostly would set me back or cause me to give up on the dream. Positive Affirmations help me not to lose focus on the vision 'we become what we think' so think positive.
4. As you focus and start to achieve and as it 'starts to happen', don’t be carried away .. Pride comes before a fall. Avoid methods/means that will compromise your character. Be honest. Be trustworthy. Don't exchange success with your integrity. A good name is better than riches and you can still achieve your dream, you can make it happen without engaging means that would hurt others at the expense of your dreams. Do things for all the right reasons and not the wrong ones. Keep a humble spirit and always to be grateful.
To make it happen in life, you need to be true to yourself, be ready to take responsibility to change your life for the better. Commit, sacrifice, and discipline yourself to making a positive change in your life.
I have realised that for me to be a useful friend, mother, sister, athlete, manager, ambassador, etc, I need to Invest in myself through personal and formal education and I do not take this lightly because it's my life!
Myself and other women with disabilities world wide, including my friend Hannah Wanja from Kenya are asking themselves these questions;
Are women homogenous? Are women with disabilities victims of circumstances or are they agents of social, economic and political change? Do we have women with disabilities on the tables of decision making or are they on the menu?
Are challenges facing women with disabilities cross cutting across the globe but are there solutions to some of these pertinent challenges facing women with disabilities?