Kolkata study highlights the need of disabled women for intimacy & relationships

India's first thematic paper, exploring the need for intimacy among women with psychosocial disabilities, has been launched in Kolkata's Jadavpur University.

Called Sexual Rights of Woman with Psychosocial Disabilities, the paper dismisses the notion that people with disabilities do not desire access to pleasure. It says that disabled women have sexual needs as well.

Dr Ketki Ranade of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in Mumbai, and mental health rights organization Anjali have written the paper. The paper was written after a six-month research project in Kolkata.

Sixteen women, from government-run mental homes and those living with their families, were interviewed for the study. All the women spoke about their physical longing for their husbands. They had all been abandoned by their husbands.

Experts hope the paper will help clear misconceptions regarding sexuality and mental illness. Most families have no understanding about this aspect. The study also highlights the need to create safe spaces for people living with mental illnesses. This will help them express their desire, need for relationships, and intimacy.

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