Women with disabilities launch campaign for their sexual and reproductive rights

“Sometimes they think that women with disabilities do not have the right to have sexual relations and we are not wanted nor can we wish,” says Mariana, within the framework of the #SomosDesear campaign.

The Invisibility of the sexuality of women with disabilitiesAs well as the barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health services are the axes of the #SomosDeSeAr campaign, an initiative of young people and adults with different types of disabilities from all over the country launched within the framework of International Elimination Day. of Violence against Women, which is commemorated today.

“Sometimes people think that women with disabilities don’t have the right to have sex and we are not desired nor can we wish“, says Mariana, a visually impaired woman from northwestern Argentina in one of the campaign’s audiovisual spots.

The messages, clear and in the first person, identify common problems that women with disabilities shared in the workshops of the DeSeAr with Inclusion Project, a joint initiative of FUSA Asociación Civil and the Network for the Rights of People with Disabilities (REDI) , which is financed by the United Nations Trust Fund to Eliminate Violence against Women.

The workshops were held during 2019 with the participation of women from the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos, Córdoba, San Juan, San Luis, Catamarca, Salta, Jujuy, Tucumán and the City of Buenos Aires.

“Women with disabilities yes we wish and yes we can have sex and enjoy them, “continues Mariana.

Cristina has a motor disability and is another of the participants in the workshops, who recorded a message for the campaign. Sitting in her wheelchair, she says: “People think that having a sexual relationship with a person with a disability it’s an abuse. Each person with a disability has the right to choose and can also say no. “

Enjoy is my right“, emphasizes Yanet, a young woman with visual impairment.” If you believe that people with disabilities can only have partners with disabilities, it is not like that, “she asks.

“The campaign arises from the need to dand tell our own words and ways of saying how we want society to look at us, how we need them to look at us in order to be challenged as equals and not from a position that is neither infantilized nor victimized, “Gabriela Bruno, a woman with motor disability of 43 years resident in Santa Fe.

“In this sense, we want disability not to be a disvalue but we are all elaborating, and very satisfied, our identity as women with disabilities,” she added.

For her part, Sofía Minieri, a member of REDI, said that “the most common problems that arose in the workshops and are reflected in the spots have to do, first of all, with the prejudice that women with disabilities are asexual, who are not interested in the subject or who are not in a position to exercise their sexuality, which is reflected in several of the videos “.

“Another axis has to do with the difficulties that arise when they want to access services related to sexual and reproductive health, not only referring to physical accessibility (absence of ramp) or communication, but also to attitudinal barriers, for example, that they speak to the companion instead of to them, “he added.

Minieri stressed that “they also emphasized the right to motherhood, in being the choose whether or not you want to be mothers and to have support; They also explained that it is necessary to banish the prejudice that any sexual relationship with them is an abuse because this idea is based on thinking that they do not have the capacity to consent, which is false. “

On the other hand, Bruno, current deputy director of Accessibility of People with Disabilities of the Municipality of Santa Fe, pointed out that “beyond the debate on sexual and reproductive rights, the workshops had the virtue of bringing us together women with disabilities from all over the country who We did not have a place of belonging with that identification: women with disabilities, empowered and who fight for our rights. “

In Argentina they live 2 million women with disabilities and one in five does not have a social, prepaid, or state health plan.

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