Women with disabilities: missing voices

Beth A. Ferri, Noël Gregg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


This paper analyses how disability informs and complicates gender identity for women with disabilities and demonstrates that disability is a feminist issue. The first section underscores the dual silence of women with disabilities who remain largely unheard of, both in feminist literature and in the disability rights movement. The status of women with disabilities in the United States reflects their position as an oppressed group in terms of educational opportunity, rehabilitation and vocational program access, occupational attainment, economic status, and social outlets. The second section of this paper suggests possible points of entry into several debates within feminist literature that would be broadened or transformed by a disability perspective. Issues of reproductive rights, control of women's bodies, newborn's right to treatment, the construction of gender as informed by disability, and sexual representation are among the issues analyzed. Finally, the last section of this paper analyzes various strategies for change, including standpoint or minority models and strategies within feminst thought that may be useful or emancipatory for women with disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-439
Number of pages11
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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