What is this research about?
Based on the Waterloo Region Immigration Partnership Community Action Plan, this study contributes towards understanding, maintaining, and developing responsive settlement programs and strategies that effectively serve all members of the KW community, including those with a precarious legal status and impacted by the intersection of different social identities. This project responds to the three core areas identified in the Community Action Plan: settle, work, and belong.
The project identified challenges that affect temporary migrants because of their gender and status, focusing on both individual- and system-level resilience. Resilience is understood to emerge at the intersection of individual/family capacity to respond to the challenges of migration, and institutional/community capacity to provide supports that foster newcomer resilience and respond to change. Lack of eligibility for settlement support, child care subsidy and other services for temporary migrants creates a disproportionate burden on women; nonetheless the same women assume important roles fostering family and community resilience, filling in the gaps.
What do you need to know?
Gender affects migrants’ entry to Canada, access to services, and how they cope with integration challenges. Gender-responsive services and programming do not concentrate exclusively on women. Rather, they take account of different experiences of men, women, and gender non-binary individuals and their impacts on migrant resilience. The Kitchener-Waterloo city network examines the experiences of temporary migrants and asylum claimants seeking to transition to permanent residence. Some gender-responsive programming exists, but it must be made more accessible and relevant.
What did the researchers do?
A workshop about “Fostering Gender Responsiveness in Migration Resilience, Research and Action” was held to engage community organizations that serve temporary migrants. Focus groups and semi-structured interviews with more than 70 participants yielded insights on their conditions of entry, coping strategies, access to a variety of services, challenges that they felt were unique to their gender, gender roles back home and in Canada, and gender-based violence in their communities. Over 20 interviews with service providers revealed gaps in the availability of gender-responsive programming for temporary migrants and creative strategies for addressing these.
What did the researchers find?
How can you use this research?
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