Physical disability exacerbates the challenges facing women and girls in their roles as mother, wife, and daughter in our prejudiced society. The female gendered disabled individual will find their youth, as well as their adulthood, equally affected by a lack of opportunity, and a support system that is scarcely available. Additionally, the negative and uneducated attitude of society, peer groups, and the disabled female’s own family, all contribute to the devastating consequences of being female and disabled. Lowered self-
esteem, lack of independence, susceptibility to violence, and the ambiguity of the female gender role within the family, are manifestations of the hindering forces at work in the disabled female’s life experience.
Kristi Heitt, ’05 Mt. Vernon, IA
Sponsor: Tina Fetner