Gendered experiences of inclusive education for children with disabilities in West and East Africa

Neva Hui, Emily Vickery, Janet Njelesani, Debra Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Education is a fundamental human right, yet many children with disabilities in low- and middle-income countries remain deprived of educational opportunities. The movement towards quality inclusive education (IE) aims to support all children at school. Although gender and disability are key factors influencing IE, limited research explores their combined influence. Purpose. This study explored the gendered experiences of IE for children with disabilities in West and East Africa. Methods. A qualitative interpretive secondary analysis was conducted on studies from Guinea, Sierra Leone, Togo, Niger, Zambia, and Malawi. Interviews with children, community members, and policy stakeholders were thematically analysed to explore intersections among gender, disability, and education. Findings. Boys and girls with disabilities experienced similar cases of social exclusion at school. However, girls with disabilities were further hindered by societal biases against their educational potential and by sexual abuse. While boys with disabilities were stereotyped as more capable, their experiences of emotional and physical violence were often overlooked. Implications. To achieve quality IE for all, strategies should aim to foster inclusive and safe school environments for all children, empower girls with disabilities to pursue education, and challenge gendered societal attitudes that hinder educational opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-474
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 4 2018


  • developing countries
  • inclusion
  • low- and middle-income countries
  • participation
  • education
  • gendered experiences
  • inclusive education
  • children with disabilities
  • West Africa
  • East Africa
  • educational opportunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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