Freedom: Social and Economical


“Disability is a natural part of the human experience” – Unknown

The fundamental nature of independent living is a philosophy of consumer control, peer support, self-help, self-determination, equal access and individual and system advocacy. Consumer control means that an individual with a disability asserts control over his or her personal life choice and in addition, has control over his or her independent living plan, making informed choices about content, goals and implementation.

The independent living or IL paradigm and philosophy are very different from the medical or rehabilitation model and call for a different way of perceiving and relating to people with disabilities. Independent living means controlling what you do with your life, making your own decision. Most of us will experience a disability sometime in our lifetime. It is a natural part of life. If you do not experience a disability you know family members or a friend or neighbour or co-worker that experience disability of some type. The question I would ask you is, do you want someone else making your decision for you or do you want to make decisions for yourself. I think we all know the answer to that. Women with disabilities face significantly more difficulties in both the public and private sphere in attaining access to adequate housing, health, education, vocational training and employment .They also experience inequality in hiring, promotion  and pay for equal work, access to credit and other productive resources and rarely participate in economic decision making.

Women and girls with disability experience double discrimination which places them at higher risk of gender based violence, sexual abuse, neglect, maltreatment and exploitation. In terms of Engineering, a body is free when the system is constrained by a set of equations whose degree of freedom describes the number of independent motions that a body is allowed. In simple words, a body is allowed free or has freedom when it has no restriction or release from prison. Freedom is a condition in which we have an opportunity to speak, act, and be happy with unnecessary external restrictions. Freedom is important because it enhances the real person who can express his creativity and original thoughts, increase productivity and also overall high quality of life.

Economical freedom enables women to overcome different cultural norms and institutional hurdles they often face. Women in countries that are more economically free live longer healthier lives, are better educated, are more involved in the economy and are financially independent compared to their counterparts from less economically free countries. After explaining the most confidential spiritual knowledge lord Krishna tells Arjun that now that he had heard everything he was free to do what he thought fit in essence, the Gita recognises the individual liberty and leaves the ultimate choice in the hands of the seeker.

“Our single most important challenge is therefore to help establish a social order in which freedom of the individual with truly mean the freedom of the individual” – Nelson Mandela

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