Toward Developing an Integration Model for Migrant and Refugee Women in Athens
This paper focuses on the resettlement needs and empowerment initiatives of migrant and refugee women. Through feminist action research at a migrant and refugee women’s grassroots organization in Athens, Greece, I analyze the women’s own understanding of their settlement and integration needs, and explore their journeys to accessing better services for resettlement assistance, skill and confidence building, and cultural celebration.
The data for this work is collected through the use of qualitative research methods, such as participatory research, focus groups, and individual semi-structured interviews. Part of the methodological design for the action research includes participatory workshops in which the group of migrant and refugee women at the grassroots organization in Athens react to, and engage with a presentation of ongoing services and programs for migrant and refugee women’s settlement and integration as they exist in 2017, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. This engagement consists in critically discussing the programs and services that are available in Halifax, and in selectively and creatively adapting them to their own circumstances in Athens.
Analysis of this data illustrates the powerful agency of women who manage to survive and thrive in the midst of precarious circumstances with minimal support, as well as the potential of action research for women’s empowerment.