Education is the gateway for improved employment opportunities, particularly for young women from refugee backgrounds for whom the development of academic, leadership and entrepreneurial skills, can help them achieve higher paying employment, contribute meaningfully to their communities, and help them support their families. Lack of education and subsequently lack of employment, makes this population particularly vulnerable to exploitation through precarious and unregulated work. Educational policy development has not kept pace with the rapid rate of resettlement of newcomers to Canada. Existing research and policy ignore the unique context and individualized experiences that refugees endure, including the systemic barriers and power imbalances that young women disproportionately face in their settlement journey. A key aim of this study was to explore the educational goals of young women from refugee backgrounds in Canada and it examined the systemic barriers they face in pursuing these goals. This study was conducted using basic qualitative methods rooted in constructivist principles. Through an inductive process, interview and focus group data were collected and analyzed through a critical theory and feminist lens. This paper will focus on the role that systemic barriers play in the practical ability for young women from refugee backgrounds to pursue their educational aspirations.

Author: Sonja Aicha van der Putten

Published in: Canada International Conference on Education, 2022

  • Date of Conference: 21-23 June, 2022
  • DOI: 10.20533/CICE.2022.0013
  • Electronic ISBN: 978-1-913572-49-5
  • Conference Location: Virtual (Mississauga, Canada)