Feminist Friday: “Sungura” explores Sexuality and Living With Disabilities
For many women living with disabilities, body autonomy is almost unattainable. Whether it is the need for comprehensive care, intrusive medical examinations, the scrutiny from rude onlookers, or the nature of their disability or even the condition itself — they are often not the only shareholders in their lives.
In 2017, feminist policy and advocacy organisation, Engender, carried out a report on disabled women’s reproductive rights and found that ingrained stereotyping and negative assumptions about disabled women play a huge part in the systematic overlooking of their reproductive rights.
“It is often assumed that disabled women and girls do not need to access information or services regarding their reproductive and sexual health. Misconceptions about their needs, intentions and capacities regarding sex, relationships and motherhood influence the actions of families, service providers and legal representatives, and perpetuate stereotypes that lead to a lack of autonomy and the breach of a wide range of human rights.”
Infantilization of women living with disabilities is a hot button feminist issue and the film Sungura explores what is considered a “taboo” issue — the sexuality of women living with disabilities.
Watch the trailer here
Kemunto is struggling to fit in at a friend’s bridal shower when Mama Asali, a traditional sexologist or Senga, arrives and draws her into the fun. But it quickly becomes clear that Mama Asali’s routine is not designed for Kemunto who uses a wheelchair thus making her frustrated and increasingly withdrawn. The assumption by the other women that having a disability means she can’t have sex, makes her feel worse.
Then the Senga brings out her colorful collection of dildos and vibrators, and Kemunto becomes obsessed with Sungura (rabbit). She must, however, navigate this crowded party to get Mama Asali alone in order to buy one; or find the courage to buy it in front of the other women, who believe she shouldn’t need a vibrator in the first place.
Produced by Ivy Kiru and directed by Lydia Matata, Sungura premiers on the 10th of September 2021.