Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA)
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
Since 2016, there has been a dramatic increase of refugees arriving in major city centers across Canada and there is a commitment to receive over 1 million newcomers by 2020. Refugees are among the most vulnerable migrants. This paper explores the value of a holistic anthropological lens in an applied health science setting. The findings presented here are drawn from a large multi-site study one specific demographic within this study, namely: newcomer mothers. The aim of this paper is to shed light on the link between the emotional wellness of newcomer mothers and the role that service delivery and everyday experiences play in facilitating or limiting their integration experiences.
This paper highlights the specific vulnerabilities for immigrant and refugee women who are unable to attend language classes because they are busy taking care of multiple children. In some cases, these women have low literacy, cannot speak any English, and depend on their husbands. A gender bias in applied health science research is well documented and unless research is specifically designed with women in mind, the gender bias in the research findings are often generalized to both men and women. The implication of this is highly problematic, as we will show in this paper, as knowledge is then translated into specific service delivery recommendations which in turn perpetuates the isolation. Our research shows that consideration of the needs of Newcomer women, are largely absent from government-funded programs especially when those women have multiple young children and extensive family obligations.