Abuse against minority women requires attention: report
By Kate Daley
The release of a two year national study has proven abuse
is a major issue with regards to immigrants and visible minority
women. The report released yesterday by the Canadian Council
on Social Development, attempted to recognize the complicated
issue of systemic abuse.
The author of the report, Ekuwa Smith, senior research associate
for the CCSD, said the study expresses the need to look at
the problems resulting from marginalization and racial issues.
The report looked at abuse from a national perspective, based
on focus groups in seven cities.
According to the report, as of 2001, there were over four
million Canadians who identified themselves as visible minorities,
and 68 per cent were immigrants.
Smith explained that the study has two main issues: immigrant
and visible minority women find themselves in a very complicated
situation when they experience domestic violence, and the services
to help these women are inadequate.
“Abuse affects all women, regardless of race, educational
background or social class,” Smith explained. She said
she wanted the study to help gain a deeper understanding of
what happens to these immigrant and minority women.
The report was released yesterday to coincide with International
Women’s Week, which began on Sunday.
The week focuses on celebrating the many accomplishments of
women that have not received proper recognition, said Monda
Halpern, professor of history and an expert on women’s
issues at Western, adding the week strives to bring attention
to the status of women around the world.
“International Women’s Day reminds us that we
should acknowledge both the accomplishments of women and the
struggles and hardships they still face,” Halpern said.
“Women should not be complacent about their status in
society. There is still a long way to go in achieving true
equality,” she noted, adding many young women assume
we live in a post-feminist society and no longer need to acknowledge