Research

Evaluating Inequities in Refugee and Immigrant Women’s Sexual Health Access (IRIS) Project

IRIS is guided by principles of meaningful community engagement and is a partnership with community-based im/migrant-serving organizations across Metro Vancouver who represent and support diverse communities of im/migrant women, including women with precarious immigration status.

The study was developed in response to serious concerns regarding barriers to sexual and reproductive health access faced by im/migrant women and the need for more explicit efforts to meaningfully address their needs in health research, service delivery, and policy.

At inception in July 2018, IRIS held community consultations and focus groups to better understand im/migrant women’s health concerns and inform research priorities. IRIS now applies an integrated mixed-methods study design, which includes in-depth individual qualitative interviews with newcomer women and the analysis of population-based administrative health and immigration data. In collaboration with community, policymakers, and im/migrant women, findings will inform policies and programmes to better address the health needs and rights of im/migrant women.

Research Objectives: To describe and analyse the individual, social, structural, and immigration-specific factors shaping im/migrant women’s access to sexual and reproductive health services over the course of arrival and settlement in BC.

Principal Investigators: Dr. Shira Goldenberg, Dr. Ruth Lavergne (Co-PI)

Key Team Members: Dr. Mei-ling Wiedmeyer, Shaina Schafers, Megan Bobetsis, Stefanie Machado, Eloina Alberto, Elmira Tayyar

Partners: MOSAIC, Pacific Immigrant Resources Society (PIRS), Watari Counselling & Support Services Society, Sanctuary Health

Funding: CIHR, Simon Fraser University