March 9, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 82  

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NEWS

Abuse against minority women requires attention: report

By Kate Daley
Gazette Writer

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 women’s issues.

 

 

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