Many Senegalese Women With Disabilities Are Forced To Beg In
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 26, 2005
DAKAR, SENEGAL--Women in the West Africa nation of Senegal face many hardships, particularly if they have disabilities, the Integrated Regional Information Network reported recently.
The discrimination starts early, because many people still believe that the birth of a child with disabilities is the result of a "bad spell being cast upon them," according to one social worker. As girls, few are sent to school to learn to read or write. When they grow up they have fewer opportunities for work because of the lack of education.
Additionally, because of the common misbelief that such women cannot deliver healthy babies, few get married.
For these reasons, many women with disabilities are forced to beg in the streets.
"Physically handicapped women face a double disability -- they are women and they are physically handicapped," said Dague Gueye Ndeye, who heads the women's section of the National Association of Physically Handicapped People of Senegal (ANHMS).
"Women suffer greater prejudice," she said.
Efforts are underway to change things for the better for women with disabilities. In Dakar, some women are learning to sew and make cloth at a training center that the women's section of ANHMS has established. On the ground floor, members operate an Internet cafe. And plans are in the works for a beauty salon run by a group of women with disabilities.
"Double disability -- physically handicapped and female"(IRIN)