How can I learn to value myself if I have a disability

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If a woman grows up with the support of her family, school and community to live the best life she can, her feelings of self-worth will be very high, whether or not she has a disability. But if a woman grows up feeling she is worth less than others because she has a disability, she has to work hard to learn to value herself. This process is never easy, but it can be done by taking small steps.

The first step is to meet other people. As other women get to know you, they will find out that women with and without disabilities are not really very different from each other. Each time you go out it will become easier to meet and talk with others.

A second step is to start or join a group for women. Talking with others can help you begin to learn about your strengths and weaknesses. A group can provide a safe place for women to speak freely—if you all agree not to speak outside the group about anything that is said inside the group.

You can also join or start a group for women with disabilities and share your thoughts and experiences about the special challenges that come from having a disability. You can all support each other during both happy and difficult times.

You can support each other in learning how to become independent, too. All over the world women with disabilities are working as doctors, nurses, shop keepers, writers, teachers, farmers, and community organizers. With each other’s help, you can begin to prepare for the future, just as any woman would.

IMPORTANT: Focus on what you can do, not what you cannot do.

  • Burns, A. A., Niemann, S., Lovich, R., Maxwell, J., & Shapiro, K. (2014). Where women have no doctor: A health guide for women. Hesperian Foundation.
  • Audiopedia ID: en011105