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Opening Doors Conference opens the door for immigrant women.

Posted in Newcomers

Published on April 24, 2015 with No Comments


By Satyarth Mishra

Sean Meagher from Public Interest presenting the Needs Assessment Report at the conference

Participants  having group discussions and writing their own views about the improvement of immigrant women at the conference.

Brampton Multicultural Centre(BMC) held an Opening Doors Conference for the immigrant women of peel region last Friday in Mississauga.

The purpose of the event was to identify and address barriers that affecting immigrant women’s economic prosperity, which was based on the findings of region-wide study, funded by Status of Women Canada, according to the press release issued by BMC.


BMC is a charity foundation, which is funded by federally, provincially and by municipality, and has been serving to peel region since 1987, in order to support and guidance to find meaningful life and employment pathways within the Canadian society and workplace, Press release states.


Event started with welcome and opening remarks by Dima Amad, Director Programs and Services, BMC.


“Immigrant women is highly educated and skilled, but they face more unemployment rate than Canadian women.” Said Amad in opening remarks.  “What needs to be done is to open doors for immigrant women, and we are here to learn immigrant women’s need and to support each other for the prosperity of immigrant women.


After opening remarks and welcome speech by Amad, project overview shared by Shirin Forouzin.


Project overview shared information about income disparity, unemployed, underemployed women from following communities like Punjabi, Urdu, Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, mandarin and many more.


“We are working on multi-stakeholder strategy. Our model is to connecting people, and highlight the extreme barrier that immigrant women face when they immigrated to this country,” said Forouzin, Project Lead, BMC.


Piloting multi-stakeholder strategy will identify and implement a strategy to improve immigrant women’s prosperity based on needs assessment recommendations, results of today’s working group questions and subsequent advisory committee meetings, based on the Opening Doors Conference Project Overview presentation.


Sean Meagher from Public Interest presented the needs assessment report in the conference that was based on literature review, focus groups with immigrant women, key informant interviews with sector leaders, service inventory and analysis with advisory committee.


“I work at the place called Public Interest and we do research and engagement with marginalized communities to help them have an influence on public policy,” said Meagher in a personal interview.


“The biggest problem that we found actually, there is no such thing is immigrant women, there are whole bunch of different types of women, they immigrated to Canada, and so the challenge we got that how do we build the diversify system of the services and support that really reflect the diversity of women here in Peel,”said Meagher.


Meagher presented some key social barriers of literature review that includes social isolation and limited support system, Childcare obligations that persist without affordable childcare, a high load of household and caregiving work, lack of support from partners.


Zanita DiSalle, Regional Vice President of RBC Royal Bank talked about from an employer’s perspective of newcomer talent in Peel region.


“Newcomers really enrich unit capital because these newcomers have international experience, they have diverse language skills and access to international networks and understanding of global markets,” Said DiSalle in her speech.


“We believe the diversity and inclusion provide an advantage in developing an intellectual capital as well.” She said.


Other speakers Marwa Elsadany, an immigrant and community advisor gave her speech about the immigrant women outlook, and Roy Saad talked about the spotlight in settlement: overviews of issues.


The conference ended with Amad’s BMC’s vision on improving prosperity for immigrant women and facilitated small group discussions.


Varsha naik, a participant of the conference was immigrated to Canada 20 years ago. She now works with District School Board of peel region.


“I attend today’s session because I am truly concerned about equity issues around newcomers integration in the region of peel,”said Naik. “The struggle finding a job as an immigrant is always an uphill task, it certainly is not an easy path it is riddled with many challenges,” Naik added.


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