n AfricaGrowth Agenda - Gender and disability : an intersectionality perspective of micro-enterprise learning among women with disabilities in Uganda

Volume 2016, Issue 10
  • ISSN : 1811-5187


This study investigates the intersecting identities of gender and disability as perceived barriers of learning for micro-enterprises for Women with Disabilities (WwDs). Micro-enterprises are regarded as important change agents in emerging economies due to their collective contribution to social and economic change. Our contribution is to the literature on micro-enterprise learning most of which tends to focus on one social category group, either disability or gender. Contrary to these studies, our study connects the compounding experiences of belonging to two groups that are socially and economically marginalized. To answer the question of how gender and disability affect the micro-enterprise learning of WwDs, we conducted one-on-one semi-structured interviews with seven key informants in a pilot study conducted in Uganda. We used thematic content analysis to analyze the qualitative data. Our findings suggest that there are two key challenges to micro-enterprise learning for WwDs. Firstly; there is a mismatch between learning programmes and the patterns of learning for WwDs. Secondly; there are negative societal attitudes against WwDs, which impede their learning. We conclude that intersecting the social identities of both gender and disabilities in micro-enterprise learning environments is difficult to manage because of the unique experiences resulting from belonging to a group with a multiple disadvantage: female and disabled.

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