Empowering migrant and refugee women

Empowering migrant and refugee women

Supporting and empowering women beyond five-year post-settlement

John De Maio, Michelle Silbert, Mary Stathopoulos, Pilar Rioseco, Rebecca Jenkinson and Ben Edwards

Research Report No. 38 — September 2017
Three women smiling and looking at a laptop

This report presents findings from the Empowering Migrant and Refugee Women project, undertaken by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. This study was commissioned by the Department of Social Services (DSS) to build evidence on practical strategies that could empower migrant and refugee women in the areas of women’s safety; economic and social participation; leadership opportunities; and to foster their role in promoting community cohesion. This report explores various aspects of service delivery to migrant women who have been living in Australia for at least five years. It documents the nature and types of service available, and identifies best practice principles and key service gaps in service delivery for migrant and refugee women. This report also outlines key priorities for addressing these service gaps.

Authors and Acknowledgements

This report was commissioned by the Department of Social Services (DSS), Multicultural Policy Section, on behalf of the Australian Multicultural Council. We would like to especially recognise the assistance and support provided by Multicultural Policy Section officers who have been connected with the research at various times.

We thank the Expert Reference Group members who provided valuable advice on the research approach and development of survey content. We also acknowledge the service providers who participated in the online survey of service providers and in-depth qualitative interviews, and specially thank them for their willingness to share their experiences and insights in delivering services to migrant and refugee women.

This report analyses data from the Building a New Life in Australia (BNLA) study. We acknowledge the former Department of Immigration and Citizenship, now the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), who commissioned the BNLA study in 2012. From the end of Wave 1 fieldwork in April 2014, responsibility for the project moved from DIBP to DSS. This report also uses the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset.

We extend our gratitude to our colleagues at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) who provided comments on the online survey questionnaire and interview schedule, and to Jennifer Baxter, Elly Robinson and Kelly Hand specifically, who kindly volunteered to read and offer critical comment on this report.

Views expressed in this publication are those of the individual authors and may not reflect those of the Australian Government or the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

Publication details

Research Report
No. 38
Published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, September 2017.
98 pp.
ISBN: 
978-1-76016-146-0
Suggested citation:

De Maio, J., Silbert, M., Stathopoulos, M., Rioseco, P., Jenkinson, R. & Edwards, B. (2017). Empowering migrant and refugee women: Supporting and empowering women beyond five-year post-settlement. (Research Report No. 38). Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. 

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