The importance of strengthening relationality: Experiences of women living with visible, physical disabilities in rural Papua New Guinea


  • Alice Yenas The University of Waikato


Women with disabilities, views and experiences, Papua New Guinea, Pacific, relationality, foster participation.


This article reports on research that explored the views and experiences of daily life for five women living with visible, physical disabilities in a rural setting in Papua New Guinea. The findings show that women with disabilities experience discrimination not only because of their disability and gender-, but also because of the attitudes, assumptions, and beliefs about disability and gender which generate discriminatory practices and social structures, which together worked to silence women with disabilities. This contributes to the work around disabilities and relationality in the Pacific. It puts forward an argument for a focus on building relationships and making connections to enhance understanding and reduce marginalisation of women with disabilities. This opposes the traditional approach which has focussed on addressing the material and /physical needs that result from the disability itself. A focus on relationality is argued to encourage inclusion and social participation for women with disabilities at their local communities.






Vol 18 (2) OCIES ECR Special Edition