A Historical Wedding for Disability Community in Cameroon

February 11th, 2015 by | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Last week, when Samuel, my work supervisor, handed me an invitation to a wedding, he said to me, “This is a historical, once in a life time wedding. A woman with disability is getting married.” In Cameroon, marriage is one of the greatest challenges in the population of women with disability. Majority of women with disability are not married, according to a research study by Shirin Kiani, while at least 50% of men with disability are married.  Discrimination in general is one of the reasons that women with disability struggle to get married.  Then also, because of the cultural standards in Cameroon, women are expected to do household chores. Therefore, if women are unable to do household work, men are more reluctant to marry them.  There is also an issue with people also having a false belief that disability is contagious.

This Saturday, I attended the wedding of Magdalene who has a mobility disability, and Etienne.  It was a beautiful wedding that was attended by many persons with disability.  The wedding ceremony was very similar to the American weddings where the bride wore a white gown and the groom wore a tuxedo and the groom entered the ceremony first and waited for the bride to walk down the aisle.  The only major difference I noticed was that the ceremony lasted much longer than an ordinary wedding in the US.  This wedding included a sermon and a few other speeches.

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