By – Mrs. Saloni Tyagi Shrivastava

HoD – Faculty of Law, Kalinga University

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Disabled women in India face unique challenges due to the intersectionality of gender and disability. Recognizing and protecting the rights of disabled women is crucial to ensure their inclusion and empowerment in society. Here are some key aspects regarding the rights of disabled women in India:

Legal Framework:

  1. a) The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016: This Act provides a comprehensive framework for protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, including women. It prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and ensures equal opportunities, accessibility, and non-discrimination in various areas of life.

b) The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005: This legislation addresses domestic violence issues, including provisions for protecting disabled women from abuse and violence within the home.

c) The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013: This Act mandates safe working environments for women, including disabled women, by prohibiting sexual harassment at workplaces and establishing mechanisms for redressal.

Right to Non-Discrimination:

  1. Disabled women have the right to be free from discrimination based on their disability and gender. This includes equal access to education, employment, healthcare, transportation, public spaces, and social services. They should not face any form of exclusion, stigma, or unequal treatment due to their disability.

Right to Education:

  1. Disabled women have the right to inclusive education on an equal basis with others. Educational institutions should provide reasonable accommodations, such as accessible infrastructure, assistive devices, and specialized support services, to ensure their full participation and learning.

Right to Health and Reproductive Rights:

  1. Disabled women have the right to access healthcare services, including specialized services for their specific disabilities. They should receive appropriate and accessible healthcare, reproductive health information, family planning services, and maternal healthcare, without facing discrimination or neglect.

Right to Employment and Economic Empowerment:

  1. Disabled women have the right to equal opportunities in employment and economic activities. They should be provided with reasonable accommodations, job training, and skill development programs to enhance their employability. Measures should be taken to promote entrepreneurship among disabled women and ensure their access to financial resources and schemes.

Right to Participation and Decision-Making:

  1. Disabled women have the right to participate actively in decision-making processes that affect their lives, both at the individual and community levels. They should be included in policy development, planning, and implementation related to disability, gender, and social welfare.

Right to Safety and Protection:

  1. Disabled women have the right to live free from violence, abuse, and exploitation. They should have access to support services, including helplines, shelters, counseling, and legal aid, to address any incidents of violence or abuse. Efforts should be made to increase awareness and sensitization among law enforcement agencies and the judiciary regarding the specific needs and challenges faced by disabled women.

Right to Social Protection and Welfare:

  1. Disabled women have the right to social protection measures, including disability pensions, assistive devices, rehabilitation services, and accessible housing. Government schemes and programs should consider the specific needs and vulnerabilities of disabled women to ensure their full inclusion and well-being.



It is important to ensure that these rights are effectively implemented through awareness campaigns, capacity-building programs, and the active involvement of disabled women themselves. Efforts towards inclusive policies, accessibility, and societal attitudes will contribute to creating an environment where disabled women can lead dignified and empowered lives.

The rights of disabled women in India, while recognized by laws and regulations, still face significant challenges in terms of implementation and effective realization. Here is a critical analysis of the rights of disabled women in India:

Inadequate Accessibility:

  1. Despite legal provisions for accessibility, physical and social barriers continue to hinder the full participation of disabled women. Public infrastructure, transportation systems, educational institutions, and healthcare facilities often lack proper accommodations and assistive technologies, making it difficult for disabled women to access these services.

Limited Education Opportunities:

  1. While the Right to Education Act guarantees inclusive education for all, disabled women face barriers in accessing quality education. Limited availability of special educators, accessible learning materials, and appropriate infrastructure pose challenges for their educational advancement. Socio-cultural barriers and stereotypes also contribute to exclusion from mainstream educational institutions.

Employment Discrimination:

  1. Disabled women in India face high levels of unemployment and underemployment due to discriminatory attitudes and inaccessible workplaces. Employers often fail to provide reasonable accommodations or appropriate training opportunities, resulting in limited employment prospects. Stereotypes and biases against disabled women further restrict their access to economic empowerment.

Violence and Abuse:

  1. Disabled women are more vulnerable to various forms of violence and abuse, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. They face higher rates of violence due to intersecting factors of gender and disability, and encounter significant barriers in reporting such incidents and accessing support services. There is a need for improved awareness, accessible reporting mechanisms, and specialized support services tailored to the needs of disabled women.

Lack of Comprehensive Healthcare:

  1. Disabled women often face challenges in accessing appropriate and comprehensive healthcare services. Healthcare facilities often lack accessible infrastructure, specialized healthcare providers, and disability-friendly equipment. As a result, their specific healthcare needs, including reproductive health and maternal care, are often neglected.

Inadequate Social Protection:

  1. While social welfare schemes exist for persons with disabilities, the specific needs and vulnerabilities of disabled women are often overlooked. There is a lack of targeted social protection measures addressing their economic, healthcare, and social inclusion needs. Disability pensions, assistive devices, and rehabilitation services are not adequately designed to meet the requirements of disabled women.

Limited Participation in Decision-Making:

  1. Disabled women are frequently excluded from decision-making processes that affect their lives. Their voices and perspectives are often disregarded in policy development and implementation, leading to the exclusion of their specific needs and concerns.

Legal Awareness and Enforcement:

  1. While legal frameworks exist to protect the rights of disabled women, there is a need for increased awareness and enforcement. Many disabled women lack awareness of their rights and struggle to navigate the complex legal system. Additionally, implementation and enforcement mechanisms need strengthening to ensure that rights are effectively realized.

Addressing these critical issues requires a multi-dimensional approach, including improved accessibility, targeted educational and employment opportunities, enhanced healthcare services, specialized support systems, inclusive social protection measures, and the active participation of disabled women in decision-making processes. Efforts must be made to address the inter-sectionality of gender and disability, challenge societal stereotypes, and promote inclusivity and empowerment for disabled women in India.


References –

1. Latest Laws in India | Legal News in India, Law Firms News & updates India

2. ACT Alliance | ACT Alliance is a coalition of 137 churches and faith-based organisations working together in over 100 countries.

3. Constitution of India, 1950

4. Persons of Disability Act, 2016

5. Indian Penal Code, 1860



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