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Senior Research and Policy Advocate
Dr Regina Quiazon
Ph: 03 9418 0912

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Putting Participation into Practice

Whether they have immigrated or arrive as refugees, the women we meet through MCWH are strong, smart and determined. In the process of migration and settlement, they have often faced upheaval and discrimination, disrupted education and careers; and encountered numerous obstacles of language, culture and isolation in addition to being supportive mothers, wives and daughters.

Immigrant and refugee women often negotiate all these experiences with great skill, resourcefulness and organisation. So why do these skills go unrecognised?

The concept of leadership does not have the same meaning across cultures, communities and individuals. Leadership is not solely about leading, but can also be a process of communication and an agent of transformation and change. At MCWH, our leadership and advocacy program is designed to be both culturally appropriate and individually meaningful to women.

The foundation of our approach is to encourage women to Participate , Advocate , Communicate and Engage (PACE).

Education sessions and workshops allow women to identify their own terms of participation based on interests and skills they want to develop.

Whether immigrant and refugee women are advocating for change, for their families, or for their communities, our leadership and advocacy program provides them with the skills and knowledge to put participation into practice.

Did you know...?

  • The world average for the percentage of women in national parliaments is approximately 20%.
  • As of December 2010, Australia ranked 40th in the world (behind Afghanistan and Iraq) for the number of women in the lower house of parliament. Rwanda was ranked number one.
  • Women from immigrant and refugee backgrounds make up approximately 16% of the Australian population, yet only 2% of the total number of Australian MPs are women from immigrant and refugee backgrounds.

Women in Parliaments
The Political Representation of Ethnic & Racial Minorities Briefing Paper 3/06