Report: State of Immigrant and Refugee Women in Canada



Community groups concerned about the status of immigrant and refugee women due to the change in government policy and direction over the last five years came together to compile a joint report on issues of mutual concern. The focus was on the impact of some of the major changes in the area of immigration policy and practice.

This joint report is a brief summary of some of the major developments in federal policy and practice as they impact on immigrant and refugee women in Canada, covering the five year period 2006-11.

According to the 2006 Census, the earning disparity between recent immigrants and Canadian-born workers increased during the two previous decades and also in recent years. This was despite the fact that recent immigrants tend to have higher levels of education and skills. Recent immigrant women earned 56 cents for each dollar earned by Canadian-born women. Racialized women immigrants earn only 48.7 cents for every dollar non-racialized male immigrants earn.

The economic disadvantage of immigrant and refugee women, particularly racialized women, can make them more vulnerable to unintended and negative impacts of government legislation, policy and practice.

The report is an attempt to capture some of the major concerns regarding policy and practice developments. Part 1 of the report is organized in 7 categories in the areas of immigration, refugee protection, temporary migrant labour, citizenship and immigrant settlement. Part 2 includes a separate section on the trafficking of women.

The report was compiled jointly by the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR), Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic (MTCSALC) and Colour of Poverty Campaign.