Community-based Research on Immigrant Women: Contributions and Challenges

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By: Samantha Sherkin
Org: Community Social Planning Council of Toronto
Date: 2004

This paper (CERIS Working Paper Series #32) explores the profuse amount of community-based research being conducted about and with immigrant women, primarily in Toronto. Its objectives include highlighting both the growing and stagnant number of collaborative academic-community partnerships. Despite the fact that research on immigrant women is excelling in depth and scope, academic and community efforts remain relatively discrete, as each world is often unaware of the others interests and pursuits. Multi-tiered collaboration is vital in bridging this gap, including greater and ongoing communication between all researchers working in this field, as well as direct participation of community members in project development and implementation.

For the purposes of this report, community-based research on immigrant women has been classified into six categories. They include:

  1. Health – physical and mental health and well-being;
  2. Settlement and economic integration;
  3. Homelessness and housing;
  4. Domestic violence and disability and violence;
  5. Disability and integration; and
  6. Seniors, seniors and disability, and elder abuse.

The author outlines how academic-community research efforts are frequently limited to select areas, namely, health, economic participation, training, and settlement,while other issues related to housing, homelessness, domestic violence, disability, and seniors remain relatively unexplored.Many of these latter subject areas are extremely sensitive within the communities themselves, particularly as impact the lives of immigrant women. Their exploration, including action-oriented recommendations and solutions, remains imperative.

This report is available for download in Adobe Acrobat PDF format (680 KB, 39 pages).