n Gender Questions - Ostracised : experiences of mothers of children with disabilities in Zimbabwe  - research

Volume 4 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2309-9704



The birth of a child normally brings joy and celebration to the family. On the other hand, the birth of a disabled child brings a number of challenges to the family. This article resulted from a qualitative study aimed at describing the experiences of mothers of children with disabilities in Zimbabwe. Data were collected using focus group discussions (FGDs). The composition of the focus groups was based on age. The first group comprised women in the 18–24-year age group; the second group was made up of 25–30-year olds; the third one was of those between the ages of 31–35 years; the fourth group comprised 36–43 year olds; and the fifth group was made up of women of 44 years and older. The study found that mothers of children with disabilities face a plethora of psychological, social and economic challenges, some of which seem to escape the attention of policy makers and development practitioners. Witchcraft accusation was identified in this study as the greatest challenge that mothers of children with disabilities face. As a result these mothers do not get support from family members and the community. In the absence of family and community support, government and non-governmental organisations have to come up with initiatives to support mothers of children with disabilities.

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