Project: Experiences of Immigrant Women and Girls in the Sexual and Reproductive Health Curriculums of Canada
When it comes to sexual health education, Canadian immigrants are at a specific disadvantage. There are inconsistencies in school curricula from province to province, especially when it comes to sexual health education, making a widespread, baseline education level unavailable. Further, immigrants report a lack of adequate sexual health-related resources available to them. Research shows that there is a need for culturally responsive and safe sexual health education in Canada, that should be informed by the needs of immigrant populations. This will contribute to increased feelings of empowerment and autonomy over youth’s bodies, including cis women, transgender folks, and people who do not fit in the gender binary, women’s bodies, in a step towards sexual health equity.
What is it?
The Canadian Advisory of Women Immigrants (CAWI), is conducting a community research project to find out more about the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) curriculums taught in schools across Canada, the findings from this project will be used to inform the development of a SRH curriculum. The goal of the current research project is to understand the unique experiences of immigrant folks, specifically women, as well as those who do not fit the gender binary such as non-binary people, and transgender women and girls in sexual and reproductive health education settings, in order to create more inclusive sexual and reproductive health education resources. This study aims to identify (1) the barriers and gaps faced by the immigrant women and girls to Canada in accessing sexual health education, (2) their unique experiences considering their cultural and religious background in sexual and reproductive health educational settings and how they intersect with their immigrant identity, (3) how the curricula may be impacting minoritized populations (like immigrants) in the country, and lastly (5) inform the SRH curriculum developed by CAWI.
After the completion of the current proposed project, our organization will utilize the research findings to generate an inclusive sexual and reproductive health resource, which will then be supplied to organizations working with immigrant populations. Before releasing the curriculum, we will host a community consultation session where we will invite the participants from our focus group discussions, as well as any interested community members to approve/review the curriculum resource (unpaid contribution). The goals of the community consultation event include (1) encouraging community participation in research, (2) providing feedback on the completed curriculum (created by CAWI) to involve diverse community perspectives on sexual and reproductive health, (3) getting constructive criticism and positive feedback on how CAWI’s team can improve the finished curriculum. It should be noted that the community consultation event is not a part of the current focus groups and that it is rather a public (non-research) event anyone can attend.
Who are we looking for?
We are looking for individuals who identify as first generation immigrants (see definition below) and have received some form of sexual and reproductive health education in an educational institute (middle school, high school, university, college) in Canada. We will be prioritizing participants that have an ethno-racial diverse background as well as a gender and sexual diverse identity. This will allow for our study to encompass a more heterogenous reality of people’s lived experience with Canada’s sexual health curriculum.
First generation immigrant: The first generation refers to those who are born outside of Canada and migrated to Canada later.
What is expected of me?
You will be expected to attend ONE focus group discussion (1.5-2 hours approx.) with 4 other individuals online via Zoom. You will be required to keep your video on for this session, however only your audio will be recorded. You will be expected to take part in discussions on sexual and reproductive health curriculums in educational institutes and the potential barriers and gaps for immigrant women and girls.
You will also have the opportunity (no honorarium) to attend a voluntary meeting after the project has been completed in order to review and approve the resources that come out of the current project.
Will I be compensated?
You will be given a $20 honorarium for your time and work during the focus group discussion.
Your names will be kept confidential when quoting you in our final research report and the data will kept by the CAWI team securely.
For any questions or concerns, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org