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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/29932

Title: Non-Status Women: Invisible Residents and Underground Resilience
Authors: Pashang, Soheila
Advisor: Mojab, Shahrzad
Department: Adult Education and Counselling Psychology
Keywords: women
human service agencies
Issue Date: 31-Aug-2011
Abstract: Although activists’ conservative estimate of the number of non-status people living in Canada is well over 500,000, the Canadian government, through its exclusionary immigration, civic, and public policies, has criminalized their existence and forsaken its responsibility for their human rights. It has been abetted by international law, which largely leaves it to individual states to resolve their own issues with unregulated migration by means of deportation or regularization. This anti-racist feminist research relied on multiple methods to collect 155 survey questionnaires distributed by service providers to non-status women within the Greater Toronto Area; it also relied on thirteen individual and two focus-group interviews with service providers and activists in order to: (1) explore the lived conditions of non-status women, and (2) examine how the activities of service providers and activists address these women’s needs. The results show that living without legal immigration status has dire consequences for non-status women, placing them at high risk of physical and sexual abuse, labour exploitation, sexual and mental health challenges, excessive caring responsibilities, and unstable housing conditions. Since most publicly funded human-service agencies come under governmental control through the process of funding allocation, practitioners must meet their non-status clients’ needs in an underground manner or on compassionate grounds, while facing dual workloads, limited referral sources, and work-related burnout. This adversely affects the quality of the care these women receive. As a result, in recent years, many frontline practitioners and human-rights activists have formed campaigns and networks to confront neoliberal state policies and act as the voice of non-status women. At the same time, non-status women’s resilient power, informal learning mechanisms, and social networks have enabled them to learn new skills, navigate the system, and make Canada their new home.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/29932
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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