Women's Empowerment in Refugee Resettlement Public Deposited

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Over the past two decades the global population of forcibly displaced individuals has grown to 65.6 million refugees, half being women. Refugee women experience distinct challenges in balancing traditional gender roles, identity, and expectations in a new cultural context. A solution to this is a combination of practical skills training and education that will lead to a positive resettlement transition. The purpose of this Doctoral Capstone Experience is to increase the knowledge, life skills, and self-sufficiency of refugee women through occupational engagement. The theoretical model guiding this project is the Kawa River Model, which represents how barriers in our life can impact occupational performance. Refugees in this particular capstone project experienced barriers related to English proficiency, education, life skills, and awareness of resources that prevented a positive resettlement transition to America. A needs assessment was conducted with the staff at Catholic Charities, and four six-week women's empowerment groups were completed as a result. At the end of the intervention a satisfaction survey was given. Refugee women have greater confidence in their roles as a mother, wife and woman at the end of the intervention. Refugee women valued life-skills training and women's health education to mental health information, likely due to a combination of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, religious beliefs, and the existence social support system. Refugees require efficient sexual and reproductive health education in order to understand contraceptive and family planning options. Overall, refugees of diverse backgrounds require different levels of occupational needs depending on their country of origin.

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