Employment issues with disabled women in Information Technology

People with disabilities face a challenging set of problems each day throughout their lives, they have become vulnerable in each sector of the society, like educational problems, employment issues, lack of training due to disabilities, due to these problems they easily are consumed by grief and sorrow and struggles, because of no equality. People with disabilities are among the most vulnerable group in the society. They are often undereducated, untrained, unemployed and poor. They face many obstacles in their struggle for equality. These people are subjected on the base of their disabilities and often ignored and rejected in many opportunities in life, both men, and women. But sadly, women are more discriminated due to both their gender and disability.

Research tells us that many women have problems in getting employment in different sectors of fields, in which IT is the highest recorded field which contains less and nearly no women employed with disabilities, whereas disabled men still have more chances to get employed in such sector.
I have worked in different departments of several companies, and what I have noticed is that majority of them feel hesitant towards hiring disabled women, no matter how much gender equality these organizations promote yet still deep down they hold their biased-ness towards disabled women. Women with visual, hearing disabilities suffer from the most unemployment ratio. Which causes them to sit at home or try to have their own small business to have their both ends meet or feed themselves. Non- governmental organizations for these people do offer education yet still these people fail to get employment in the IT sector later in the future.

Software developer, web design, software testing, robotics, none of these departments contain employed women even if they would have the education and skill for it just due to the fact of their disability. The rights of these people are often ignored and even abused, and it had been for a very long time for years, women have difficulties living in our society due to their gender but with the one with disabilities have to face more problems.

Women with disabilities are considered as second class citizens, and the upper management do not feel that these women can help them provide change and better performance in IT field, for example, if the company is looking for a web designer and a lady with hearing disabilities has enough skills to get that job, she will be rejected for the fact that it would be difficult for the management to communicate with her or apply more effort to communicate.
Therefore, they would prefer an individual with whom they would communicate quickly.

Furthermore, the mentality of some people is that if such women would not have jobs that are not the problem then because her family will provide her and they are only capable of being at home and taking care of other house related stuff.

Another reason why these women cannot get job that most of the organization do have surrounding which would be safe for these people, for example, according to a research a female with walking disability in Ministry of Health and Social Welfare working as telecom operator told that her office was on the third floor and the building doesn’t have a lift. She reported the problem several times to the management and explained the difficulties she had by going up and down every day, but they told her there is no any office on the ground floor. Sadly, one day, she fell from the third floor, sustained serious injuries on her spinal cord and was hospitalized for six months, and didn’t recover totally. and sometimes she loses my memory. But after the accident, she was given the office on the ground floor.

Couldn’t they just have provided to her before?

Some organizations consider these women as a liability reflecting the fact that these women can easily be exposed towards abuse, violence or poor health conditions. are more likely to experience violence, abuse, and poor health than men with disabilities.

Women have great potential in working hard for their goals and aims, even more than men, this is why they deserve to get employment chances in these fields because I think of what these women have faced throughout their lives such as gender biasedness and disability barriers, they would have so better and effective ideas for the future generation which they would simply by working in these fields and provide software, supporting techs, making software for people with disabilities, this would be their goal. Furthermore, they also fail to realize that these women have the potential for great leadership and can transform communities.

These women face various obstacles in having employment in the IT sector more, those who have somehow managed to get employment still have to work under several problems which are why some of them leave their job and end up sitting back at home. work under very difficult conditions. As a result, some of them have even left aside their opportunities in the public service. This shows that the right to employment for women with disabilities in Tanzania is not adequately realized. While appreciating the efforts which have been made by the Government to change the situation of people with disabilities in formal employment, it is worth noting that a lot still needs to be done. There are still a lot of gaps which need to be closed. The following chapter analyzes some of the gaps and proposes measures that are required to be taken to change the situation of disabled women in the formal employment sector.

Let me suggest some possible factors which can help these women get employment in this department.

  1. There should be strict rules made by the government for the organization who would reject these women just because of their disabilities and also should implement these rules and policies in order to provide these women deserving working opportunities, and transport arrangements should be made, organizations should have friendly environment for these people so they can work easily.
  2. To provide awareness for these women, there should be seminars conducted and these problems should be pointed out publicly.
  3. There should be a social app for them, where they can upload their profiles with skills, this kind of app can only be made by app developers and will take a long procedure to come on track.
  4. These women should be involved in decision-making process and policies which would help other disabled women in the lower sector too and establish balanced opportunity methods.
  5. These women should also be trained for their career development in the IT sector and polish their skills.
  6. Actions should be taken against companies who reject these women despite having a lot of skills under the employment laws.

Women should not be rejected due to any means whether it’s a field of IT or not, they are human beings and acquire great set of skills and talent which can bring positive change which can help many people, because Information Technology is a field which is innovative and always focused on the future, therefore these people should also have the right to contribute their efforts for a better future.


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