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Celebrating women with disabilities

Inclusion Rights

On 8th March each year, Handicap International celebrates International Women’s Day. The day is an opportunity for us to recognize the exceptional achievements of ordinary women around the world.

Through Handicap International's livelihoods program in Senegal Faw Seuth Ndiaye was connected with the fruit processing firm, Zena, where she now works as a handler.

Through Handicap International's livelihoods program in Senegal, Faw Seuth Ndiaye was connected with the fruit processing firm, Zena, where she now works. | © E. Fitte-Duval / Handicap International

Today, 8th March, marks an important day for women around the world: International Women’s Day. At Handicap International, we celebrate all of the courageous women we work algonside, and especially those with disabilities. We recognize the exceptional achievements of working women with disabilities, acknowledging the additional challenges that they overcome and the significant contributions they make in their communities.

Access to paid work

Women (and men) with disabilities do not have the same opportunities for waged employment as people without disabilities. When people with disabilities find work, they are often paid less than their counterparts without disabilities. Research conducted by Handicap International in 10 countries[1] shows that, “Women with disabilities face an additional layer of discrimination because of their gender, and correspondingly have even fewer opportunities to engage in work. As a result, women with disabilities are more likely to be poor, excluded, and unemployed than men with disabilities.”

Bridging the gap 

Handicap International is working to redress these injustices. Our rehabilitation services help women who are injured in natural disaster or conflict, regain independence and strength needed to carry out a job. Our specialized inclusive employment projects work closely with local employers to confront real and perceived barriers to employment, giving more women with disabilities the opportunity for fair, waged employment. We also provide personalized training to help women with disabilities gain the skills and confidence needed to reach their full potential.

A few women who inspire us

© E Fourt / Handicap International

Two women in Iraq teach children about the risk of landmines and other explosive devices through Handicap International's mine risk education project. 

© JJ Bernard / Handicap International

A medical examiner assessing students at a primary school in Senegal.

© Kelvin Batumike / Handicap International

 Bijou Yakusu works as one of our deminers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

© Nicolas Axelrod / Handicap International

Phet Latsabout, a cluster munition victim in Laos, prepares food.

© JJ Bernard / Handicap International

A woman in Senegal makes paper bags with the Economic Group of Women of Ouakma.

© Nicolas Axelrod / Handicap International

Thong Mai, a landmine victim in Laos, waters her garden. 


[1] Handicap International, (2016), ‘Situation of wage employment of people with disabilities: ten developing countries in focus’,


Date published: 03/02/17


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