Health and Wellbeing of South Asian Immigrant Women

Influences of Gender, Migration, Racialization and Access to Health Care in Canada

This presentation will explore, using social determinants of health and intersectionality approach, how gendered experience of migration and settlement in Canada shape the health and wellbeing of South Asian immigrant women. Narratives and experiences of a number of South Asian immigrant women of different ages from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan in three different studies will show how gender, age, migration and settlement status intersect to affect their overall health, especially mental health and wellbeing, and also their access to health information, health promotion activities and health care services. Comparative analysis of the narratives and experiences of these women in these three qualitative studies show that while young and expecting immigrant mothers are inundated with health information and resources about neonatal care and parenting, health information and health promoting services for older immigrant women are not that abundant. Additionally, some older South Asian immigrant women face multiple intersecting barriers in accessing the limited health promoting resources available for them. Health information and service providers need to understand the internal diversity within these communities and the variations of experiences among these women, and as well the broader social, cultural, structural and systemic barriers that shape their health and wellbeing and access to health care and other services.