Intersections of War and Disability: The Context of Disabled Tamil Women in Sri Lanka
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In the foreground of economic development, Sri Lanka has been commended for its strong economic growth, despite its civil war. However, beneath that lies a different picture where inequalities are created and exacerbated by patterns of discrimination and unequal treatment among Sri Lanka’s most vulnerable population. In keeping with a Critical Disability Studies approach, this Major Research Paper aims to shed light on the current state of disablement among Tamil women with disabilities in Sri Lanka and seeks to understand their position in society, where they are triply marginalized by a number of factors. These factors such as gendered-caste discrimination, life course position, social location, involuntary migration, displacement through civil war and marginalization intersect to create barriers for disabled Tamil women, which ultimately leaves them in a most disadvantaged position. Additionally, this paper discusses the ramifications of Sri Lanka’s civil war and its connection with mental health, war, and disability. Lastly, it investigates the international bodies such as United Nations, World Health Organization, and United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and their role in dismantling disabilities in Sri Lanka. In doing so, it aims to provide a thorough investigation into these women’s lives and to look at lived experience of disabled women from Northern part of Sri Lanka.