ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Experiences of Women with Disabilities in Odisha

Attitudinal Barriers in Education

Women with disabilities are subjected to double discrimination in Indian society. Despite growing concern for the disabled community in society at large, their education remains only aspirational. The attitudes that women with disabilities encounter in their educational endeavours are explored. A thematic analysis of 27 narratives of women with disabilities from Odisha identifies and distinguishes the familial and communal attitudes they face. Policy must aim at ensuring not just physical integration, but also the social acceptance and inclusion of women with disabilities.

Education is a means to the all-round development of a person—it nourishes the body, mind, and soul. It has been recognised as one of the primary indicators of a society’s development. According to the 2011–12 Report to the People on Education (Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, 2011–12), high levels of educational attainment in a country will lead to economic well-being ­because education ensures higher intellectual and professional capabilities among citizens. With the growing acknowledgement of the importance of education, there has recently been a major shift in the educational sector. The shift was evident with the passing of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act in 2009, which makes education a constitutional right for every child.

Despite this policy focus on education, there are sections of society deprived of its benefits of education. These are mostly minority groups, like people belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SCs/STs), women and girls, people from weaker socio-economic backgrounds, and those from rural ­areas (Baruah 2013). Similarly, disabled people are likely to have fewer or no educational qualifications (Groce and Bakshi 2011). A report by the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in the United Kingdom (UK) aimed at improving the lives of the disabled also highlights the difficulty associated with disabled people achieving ordinary milestones, like attaining education (Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, United Kingdom, 2005).

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Updated On : 17th Aug, 2020

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