The grace of motherhood: disabled women contending with societal denial of intimacy, pregnancy, and motherhood in Ethiopia
This study aimed to provide better understanding of intimacy and marriage, pregnancy, birth, and motherhood experiences of women with disability in Ethiopia. Qualitative, in-depth, and semi-structured interviews along with personal observations were used to explore the full experiences of participants, as told in their own words. The result of the interviews indicated that relationships and motherhood proved a very rewarding option for women with disabilities. They also expressed their need for intimacy regardless of society’s denial. Challenges identified include negative societal attitudes toward women with disabilities regarding relationship, pregnancy, and child-rearing. Accessibility of health centers in addition to the ignorance and negative attitudes of the physicians are also reported to be major challenges for the interviewees. This study highlights how rewarding the experience of motherhood was for the interviewees and also shows that women with disabilities face challenges at every step of their experiences, because of society’s prejudices toward disability.