chapter  2
19 Pages

Disability and policy problems, gender, and social construction

ByTulasi Acharya

This chapter discusses disability and policy problems in the context of both the Global North and the Global South and underscores the need for research in the context of the Global South. It also highlights key problems that women with disabilities face in Nepal. This chapter discusses how disability intersects with gender while defining sex and gender across the subfields of feminist, sexuality, and masculinity studies that aim to study biological and social division, biological sex difference, sexuality, sexed identities and practices, and gender arrangements (Beasley, 2005). It also plays into the idea of gender theorist Camela Stivers’ (2002) discussion of private versus public sphere and how women’s womanhood is being associated with her ability to bear a child, be sexually active, work in the kitchen, and look after children. Slowly, the discussion focuses on how gender is viewed in the context of Nepal and how religion, the concept of purity, and patriarchy interconnect and interact to further marginalize women. Sex and its influence on gender are consistent with the discourse of Dharma, religion “based on caste and patriarchal identity that assigned the wife the duty to offer sexual pleasure as part of her general relationship of obedient service to her husband” (Gautam, 2017, p. 28). The chapter also touches on the social construction of disability and how knowledge is gained through social processes that may become oppressive if that is not recognized. The chapter underscores the discourse on sex and defines sex as a biological need and human desire that affects people’s quality of life. Such discourse tends to remain silent and censored in the society of a country like Nepal and the need of its recognition in policies.