International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Development and Social Change (IDSC)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Marianne Sarkis

Second Reader

Ellen Foley


Impoverished women who have disabilities make up some of the most isolated and overlooked people in the world. Often, they are excluded from women’s movements due to their disability, disability movements due to their gender, and One-Third World contexts due to their poverty. Gender, socioeconomic status, and disability create multiple layers of discrimination. These intersectional forces impact the ways in which impoverished women with disabilities experience violence, making them two to four times as prone to violence as their able-bodied counterparts. In low resource settings, women with disabilities encounter many forms of violence, including caretaker abuse, forced sterilization, and sexual violence. In South Africa, the lack of services and state-sponsored support for impoverished women with disabilities worsens their situation. In an effort to address this deficit, attention should be focused on providing and creating specialized organizations and programs to support women with disabilities who experience violence.



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