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WS 102 (27)


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University of Waterloo
Women's Studies
WS 102
Tina Davidson

WS 102 IMMIGRATION JAN 21 HISTORY - Immigration history is studied as the “male experience” and problems of race/ethnicity - British/French women immigrant recruited for her childbearing capacity, whereas males for his nation-building capacity - Few women able to immigrate on own right, instead brought as a man’s wife, child - Racial minority women in Canada clustered in job ghettos like health care, unpaid and education undervalued - Immigrant families in general: insecurity in employment, language barriers, balance between 2 cultures - Few government resources targeted for female immigrants: reduced access to education resources, job programs, leaving women in low paying jobs - Women more dependent on men which results in increased abuse BULIDING A WHITE/BRITSH CANADA 1700’s - Canadian immigration history is the preference for: white, English-speaking, protestant, middle class - Canadian government relied on poor immigrant women from unprivileged areas to take on underpaid work - Non-white immigrant women’s transition into marriage/citizenship seen as problematic and an issue towards national ideals - After WWII, Canada had mass immigration IMMIGRANT WOMEN AND THE WHITE IDEAL - “Canadianizing” non-white immigrant women ex. Stopping cultural practices of food prep  Disobeying to conform resulted in immediate deportation - Social work became popular career for British-Canadian middle/upper class women - Canada is a young nation, every Canadian can trace their history of immigration back through a couple generations TH CANADA’S IMMIGRATION POLICY IN THE 20 CENTURY - Over 60% immigrants British - In mid-century most immigrants from UK, Germany, Italy - Chinese, South Asian, African immigrants are 3 largest immigration groups and are 2/3 of visible minority population - Classism and racism evident in 20 century immigration law: 1910 Canadian Immigration Act banned immigrants based on class, occupation, character  Blacks and Asians categorized as biologically unable to conform to Canadian climate, culture, and society - By 1950, Canadian immigration closed to all who were not a) English speaking, British or American citizens b) French speaking from France c) Canadian Armed Forces men + families - Immigration Act of 1952 continued to ban immigrants based on nationality, custom. Geographic origin or assumed unable to adapt to climate - Female immigrants occupy low-status, poorly paid, and unskilled positions WS 102 IMMIGRATION JAN 21 THE POINTS SYSTEM - 1960s, factors such as race/sex are irrelevant, replaced by capital investment, education, occupation, age, and demand for specific skills for specific employment in Canada  Worked to exclude women and immigrants from undesired regions - Today, immigration is allowed for 3 purposes: 1. To benefit Canadian economy (61%) 2. Reunite families (27%) 3. Offer safety to refugees (11%) - Women are underrepresented in all categories, discriminate against women for immigrant - Women suffer gender-based discrimination in countries of origins: responsible for children, limited access to education, health care, employment  Women less likely than men to meet Canadian standards for immigrant/refugee status  Gender-based discrimination not considered legit claim for refugee status CANADIANS OF AFRICIAN ANCESTRY - Extremely opposed against, one of Canada’s earliest immigrant group
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