Do persons with disabilities have the same rights as others to marry, have children and raise those children?
Answers show that socio-cultural stigma is very common especially among women with physical and/or intellectual disabilities in developing countries, suggesting the importance of considering the relationship between gender and disability. –example: restricted custody of children. Generally, 51% of respondents agreed there are no obvious legal restrictions, but the 33.4% who claimed the rights of people is somehow restricted, highlighted indirect barriers such as:
- Socio-cultural and gender stigma: Women who have disabilities are the greatest recipients of social exclusion- no strategies available from government or NGOs to support. There is a great deal of stigma or social influences discouraging marriage among PWDs
- Marrying is often legally allowed but having children is very often discouraged due to fear of violence from the parents. Custody of children often becomes a difficult subject to
- Lack of decision making power: Caregivers and family relations dependencies and social services restrictions
- Intellectual disability issues and capacity to make decision (main issue in all the countries) represent an institutionalisation barrier: Marriage consent, contract signing issue- need to be back by supportive administrative documents in some countries in order to sign marriage contracts.