Exploring experiences of women with disabilities living in inclusive communities of Mutorashanga, Mashonaland West Province in Zimbabwe
Keywords:Mutorashanga, Zimbabwe, personal growth, research, constructivist lived experience, disabilities, women with disabilities, poverty
The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of women with disabilities living in an inclusive community setting in Mutorashanga, Mashonaland West province in Zimbabwe. An inclusive community setting is one that aims to remove exclusionary practices within the community system and promote community systems that accept all people irrespective of their difference. Inclusive community practices on their own are not uniquely designed for people with disabilities, but they have been adopted by most developing countries as a basic strategy to influence and enhance social acceptance and personal growth among people with disabilities. A constructivist lived experience perspective underpinned this research, in which multiple case studies were used to interact with the participants on inclusion and their experience living in an inclusive community setting. Ten participants (all women) were purposively sampled. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews and transcribed verbatim. Four themes emerged from the inductive thematic analysis of data sources. It was found that participants were exposed to negative attitudes from their families and communities. The participants also indicated they were facing serious disability-related challenges and were living in abject poverty and lacked useful education. The findings of this study have the potential for the inclusive communities‟ policymakers and researchers to better understand experiences of women with disabilities living in an inclusive community setting.
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