Date of Conferral
Refugee populations worldwide increase every day as a result of social and political wars. Women and children, particularly those with different physical abilities, are the most vulnerable populations affected by atrocities in their home countries and in their countries of refuge. In Africa, it is believed that women with different abilities bring shame to their families. The purpose of this descriptive phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of refugee women with different physical abilities, specifically regarding challenges related to accessing services in Kenya. The research question that guided this study focused on the lived experiences of refugee women with different physical abilities in Kenya seeking social services. Wendell’s feminist theory was the conceptual framework for this study. Data collected from face-to-face interviews with a sample of 10 women in an urban center in Kenya revealed the lived experiences of refugee women with different abilities seeking services. Open coding was used to extract emergent themes from the interview data. Five themes emerged: (a) fleeing traumatic violence in the country of origin; (b) gratitude for supportive social networks; (c) the hardship of inadequate support for basic needs; (d) the anxiety, frustration, and shame of dependence; and (e) the distress of living with unmet needs. Social change implications include the ability of scholars and service providers to share information with those who assist refugee women with different physical abilities to help them better meet this population’s needs. The study findings may also help people in African communities to view those with different physical abilities in a more positive manner.