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Feminism, multiculturalism and violence against immigrant women in Canada Fulford , Sumie Kawakami 1995

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FEMINISM, MULTICULTURALISM AND VIOLENCE AGAINST IMMIGRANT WOMEN IN CANADA by SUMIE KAWAKAMI FULFORD B.A., Sophia University, 1987 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in I THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Political Science) THE UJSD7ERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA January 1995 © Sumie Kawakami Fulford, 1995 We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) 11 ABSTRACT This thes i s explores the context i n which immigrant women i n Canada experience v i o l e n c e . I t w i l l focus on the i ssue of why the o v e r - a l l hardship they face makes them more vulnerable when they encounter v io lence i n t h e i r l i v e s . Immigrant women occupy a lower socio-economic l e v e l than both women i n general and immigrant men. They face racism, double standards, language b a r r i e r s and many other obstacles to t h e i r f u l l and equal p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Canadian soc i e ty . Despite these d i f f i c u l t i e s , t h e i r problems receive minimal a t t e n t i o n from s o c i e t y . There i s no coherent p o l i c y towards immigrant women and there i s no theory that allows us to analyze t h e i r s i t u a t i o n . This thes i s w i l l argue that Canadian i n s t i t u t i o n s are unable to deal adequately with immigrant women's problems because governments only have e i t h e r p o l i c y for immigrants or p o l i c y for women. Between these two areas of p o l i c y l i e s a v o i d i n t o which immigrant women f a l l . As a result^ immigrant women's groups are unable to get funding. The ir s p e c i a l needs are r a r e l y met. In conc lus ion , t h i s thes is w i l l argue that immigrant women's problems cannot be dea l t with unless the Canadian body p o l i t i c recognizes 'immigrant women' as a separate category. A concept such as 'immigrant women' i s more than the sum of i t s p a r t s . The paper w i l l argue that there i s a need to conceptual ize "immigrant women" as a category i n i t s own r i g h t . The r e a l i z a t i o n that mul t ip l e i d e n t i t i e s are more than the sum of t h e i r parts may be use fu l i n analyz ing problems faced by any group of people with m u l t i p l e i d e n t i t i e s . Table of Contents page Abstract i i Acknowledgement i v Introduct ion 1 1. T h e o r e t i c a l Framework 7 2. Factors which Intens i fy Immigrant Women's V u l n e r a b i l i t y . . 27 3. The Gap Between P o l i c y Towards Women and Immigrants 49 4. Ana lys i s 81 Conclusion 95 B ib l iography 98 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e to express my grat i tude to A v i g a i l Eisenberg for her guidance i n a l l stages of t h i s p r o j e c t . I would a l so thank Joan Anderson for her h e l p f u l comments and i n s i g h t s . My grat i tude a lso goes to severa l Vancouver s o c i a l workers who help immigrant women. They k i n d l y took the time to give me informat ion . I am e s p e c i a l l y g r a t e f u l for the help of B e l l a Genezero from the Immigrant Services Society of B . C . , Parampal Pawa from the Community A i r p o r t Newcomers Network, and Denise Tang from the Women Against Vio lence Against Women/Rape C r i s i s Centre, Vancouver. Although t h e i r comments and informat ion helped me c l a r i f y my ideas , I take f u l l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for what I have wr i t t en i n t h i s t h e s i s . I am a lso indebted to the s t a f f at L i l l i p u t , a UBC daycare centre , e s p e c i a l l y Ingr id Keen, Tania Robertson, Carey Eng, Angela C r o z i e r , and P h y l l i s White, for taking great care of my c h i l d while I was engaged i n th i s p r o j e c t . Without t h e i r dedicated he lp , I could not have f i n i s h e d t h i s t h e s i s . I would a l so l i k e to express my grat i tude to my f r i e n d s , Chiharu Mizumi and Joy Coben for t h e i r support . I am g r a t e f u l to Barbara F u l f o r d for her comments and i n s i g h t s . My grat i tude a lso goes to my husband, Benjamin F u l f o r d , for h i s i n s i g h t s and emotional he lp . He proof -read many stages of my t h e s i s . I would l i k e to express my thanks to my daughter, Venus F u l f o r d , for a l l of her smiles and k i s s e s . The support and love of my family helped me to get through the s tress of w r i t i n g . F i n a l l y , I am g r a t e f u l to a l l the immigrant women whom I have met during my 3 years i n Vancouver. Without the input from these women, I could not have done t h i s p r o j e c t . 1 Introduct ion: In 1991, there were 270 women murdered i n Canada and 225 of these cases were so lved. In the solved cases, 210 of the murdered women died at the hands of men. One hundred and twenty-one were k i l l e d by int imate p a r t n e r s . 1 Other s t a t i s t i c s show that 62% of women murdered i n Canada i n 1990 died as a r e s u l t of wife a s sau l t . In the same year, on average, two women were k i l l e d by t h e i r partners every week i n Canada. ^ Of course, murder i s only one extreme form of v io lence against women. Many women are p h y s i c a l l y , emot ional ly , and sexual ly abused by t h e i r p a r t n e r s , t h e i r employers, and s trangers . Every s i x minutes a woman i s sexual ly assaulted somewhere i n Canada. Every 17 minutes a woman i s raped. One recent study has found that 54% of 420 randomly se lec ted females i n Toronto had experienced some form of unwanted or i n t r u s i v e sexual experience, i n c l u d i n g unwanted sexual k isses or non-geni ta l sexual touching and the exposure of t h e i r g e n i t a l s , before reaching the age of 16. * The same study found that 43% s p e c i f i c a l l y reported that they were "sexually abused." N i n e t y - s i x percent of these offenses were committed by men. ^ Furthermore, 40% of these women reported at l eas t one experience of rape a f t er the age of 16. This means that "more than one i n three women" experienced a rape during her adulthood. " The same study found that 27% of the women reported an experience of p h y s i c a l abuse i n an int imate r e l a t i o n s h i p 1 Canadian Panel on V i o l e n c e A g a i n s t Women (CPVAW), Changing The Landscape: Ending V i o l e n c e - A c h i e v i n g E g u a l i t y , (Ottawa: M i n i s t r y of Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1993), 10. L B r i t i s h Columbia, M i n i s t r y of Women's E q u a l i t y , B.C. Task Force on Fam i l y V i o l e n c e : IS Anyone L i s t e n i n g ? , V i c t o r i a : I s Anyone L i s t e n i n g ? ( V i c t o r i a , B.C.: Queen's P r i n t e r , 1992), x v i i . 3 I b i d . * L. H a n k e l l & M. R a n d a l l , "The Women's S a f e t y P r o j e c t : Summary of Key S t a t i s t i c a l F i n d i n g s , " i n Canadian Panel on V i o l e n c e A g a i n s t Women, ed., Changing The Landscape: Ending V i o l e n c e - A c h i e v i n g E g u a l i t y , A4. 5 I b i d . 6 I b i d . , A6. with a husband, p a r t n e r , boyfr iend or date. ' Violence against women cuts across a l l categories of women i n Canada regardless of d i f ferences i n race , c u l t u r e , s o c i a l background, age, n a t i o n a l i t y , occupat ion, p h y s i c a l a b i l i t y or d i s a b i l i t y , r e l i g i o n , language, and sexual preference . Because immigrant women face d i f f i c u l t i e s i n adjus t ing to a new s o c i e t y , they are more vulnerable to v io lence than mainstream Canadian women. Often, they have l o s t t h e i r s o c i a l connections and the career they enjoyed i n t h e i r home countr i e s . They tend to be i s o l a t e d from Canadian soc ie ty because of a language de f i c i ency and/or d i f ferences i n c u l t u r e . L ike many other women i n Canada, immigrant women are more l i k e l y to be stuck i n "low-paying job ghettos" than men of t h e i r own communities. Dif ferences i n job q u a l i f i c a t i o n s between Canada and t h e i r home countries add extra obstacles to t h e i r e f f o r t s to advance t h e i r careers . For immigrant women of co lour , r a c i s t assumptions i n Canadian soc i e ty may a l so add further s t r a i n s , both f i n a n c i a l and emotional . P o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l v u l n e r a b i l i t y i n "the p u b l i c sphere" may a l so weaken immigrant women's p o s i t i o n i n the fami ly . They may become more dependent on t h e i r family members—especially on t h e i r husbands. The ir dependence on t h e i r husbands may force women to stay i n unhappy marriages even i n cases where abuse i s invo lved . ' The problem of v io lence against immigrant women i s fur ther complicated by the combination of sexism, racism, c la s s i sm, c u l t u r a l i n s e n s i t i v i t y and ignorance. There i s much evidence to show that immigrant women often become targets of r a c i s t v i o l e n c e . Poor immigrant women are more vulnerable to v io lence because they lack resources to escape. This paper w i l l explore the evo lu t ion of Canadian p o l i c i e s towards the problem of v io lence against immigrant women over the past two decades. The main quest ion to be asked here i s how and why the Canadian system f a i l s to protect these women from v i o l e n c e . The paper w i l l explore three d i f f e r e n t p o s s i b i l i t i e s . ' I b i d . , 17. " For d e t a i l s see, R. Wiebe, V i o l e n c e A g a i n s t Immigrant Hoien and C h i l d r e n : An Overview f o r Community Workers, 2nd ed., (Vancouver, B.C.: Somen A g a i n s t V i o l e n c e A g a i n s t Somen/ Rape C r i s i s C e n t r e , Vancouver, 1985); A. E s t a b l e , Immigrant Women i n Canada: C u r r e n t I s s u e s , ( O n t a r i o : Canadian A d v i s o r y C o u n c i l on the S t a t u s of Komen, 1986); L. Hacleod & H. S h i n , A f r a i d and F o r g o t t e n : The S e r v i c e D e l i v e r y Needs and R e a l i t i e s of Immigrant and Refugee Bomen ftp are B a t t e r e d , (Ottawa, O n t a r i o : N a t i o n a l C l e a r i n g h o u s e on F a m i l y V i o l e n c e , 1990). 3 The f i r s t i s that Canadian i n s t i t u t i o n s c o v e r t l y help to sus ta in s ex i s t and/or r a c i s t p r a c t i s e s . The second p o s s i b i l i t y i s that the s tate i s r e luc tant to intervene i n the c u l t u r a l matters of c e r t a i n e thnic groups, even i f they oppress women. I f t h i s i s so, why i s the s tate r e l u c t a n t to intervene i n c u l t u r a l values that oppress women? How does the government's n o n - i n t e r v e n t i o n i s t a t t i t u d e r e l a t e to the m u l t i c u l t u r a l nature of Canadian society? The t h i r d p o s s i b i l i t y to be explored i s that pol icy-makers wish to protec t these women, but do not know how to do so or governments do not have adequate means to deal with the problem. I f so, why i s th i s the case? Is i t because the Canadian mainstream has misconceptions about immigrant women? Or, i s i t because the system does not have c l e a r ideas of how immigrant women f i t in to Canadian society? In order to explore these p o s s i b i l i t i e s , the paper w i l l examine two major areas of Canadian p u b l i c p o l i c y : p o l i c i e s designed for e r a d i c a t i n g v io lence against women as a whole and p o l i c i e s based on Canadian m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m . By doing so, i t w i l l e s t a b l i s h that the f a i l u r e of government p o l i c y to pro tec t immigrant women from v io lence i s r e f l e c t e d i n a t h e o r e t i c a l confusion concerning m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m and feminism. Should the government deal with the problem of v io lence against immigrant women as a part of a p o l i c y concerning women's issues? Or, should the problem be deal t with i n r e l a t i o n to the "adjustment" of newly immigrated fami l i e s to a new society? I f the i ssue f a l l s in to the j u r i s d i c t i o n of bo th—pol i c i e s towards women and p o l i c i e s towards immigrants—how can the government approach the problem? I w i l l argue that ne i ther feminism nor m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m alone can adequately analyze the problem of v io lence against immigrant women. The problem of immigrant women has f a l l e n between the cracks that separate d i f f e r e n t t h e o r e t i c a l and admin i s tra t ive categories between gender i s sues , m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , and immigration. In the fo l lowing chapters , I w i l l show how immigrant women are l o s t i n the conceptual abyss that l i e s between feminism and m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m . In order to pursue these goa l s , the f i r s t chapter w i l l explore two schools of p o l i t i c a l thought: feminist theories and theories of c u l t u r a l s e c u r i t y . I t w i l l examine how and where the issue of v io lence against immigrant women f i t s , or does not f i t , in to these approaches. The second chapter w i l l examine the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l background of immigrant women and show how they are made vulnerable 4 to v io lence i n Canada. Chapter 3 w i l l discuss the evo lut ion of Canadian p o l i c y towards women and towards immigrants. Chapter A w i l l analyze the i m p l i c a t i o n s of these two p o l i c i e s on the i ssue of v io lence against immigrant women. The main questions to be asked i n t h i s chapter are: How has Canada f a i l e d to solve t h i s problem? Why has i t f a i l e d ? What can Canada do to solve t h i s problem? In conc lus ion , I w i l l argue that Canadian p o l i c i e s f a i l to protect immigrant women from v io lence because they view immigrant women e i t h e r as women or as immigrants. Unless the state comes up with a new set of ideas that can view immigrant women as immigrant women, government e f f o r t s to ameliorate the circumstances are l i k e l y to have a l i m i t e d impact. D e f i n i t i o n s of key terms used i n t h i s paper are l i s t e d below. This paper depends mostly on publ i shed m a t e r i a l s , but some information was obtained through face - to - face or telephone interviews with s o c i a l workers, government o f f i c i a l s and immigrant women, or through workshops on immigrant women. D e f i n i t i o n s 1. Immigrant women: There are two approaches to the d e f i n i t i o n of the term immigrant women i n the re levant l i t e r a t u r e . One group of authors views the term i n a s t r i c t l y l e g a l sense. In t h i s approach, the term immigrant women i s defined as those who e i t h e r ho ld landed immigrant or refugee s ta tus , or those who are applying for such s t a t u s . 9 A broader d e f i n i t i o n i s used by many authors . A. Djao and R. Ng, for example, argue that the term " i t s e l f ind ica tes r a c i s t and c lass b i a s , " because, i n our everyday usage of the word, i t seems to imply "women of co lour , notably from T h i r d World countr i e s , who do not speak E n g l i s h or who speak Eng l i sh with an accent (other than B r i t i s h or American), and who occupy c e r t a i n p o s i t i o n s i n the occupat ional h ierarchy ." 1 " What i s meant here i s tha t , i n soc ie ty at l a r g e , Caucasian women who speak 'unaccented' Eng l i sh and have a c u l t u r a l background that resembles that of mainstream Canadians are not regarded as ' immigrants . ' Although there i s room for argument about whether the use of the l e g a l 9 For example, see A. E s t a b l e , Immigrant Women i n Canada: C u r r e n t I s s u e s . 1 0 A. Djao & R. Ng, " S t r u c t u r e d I s o l a t i o n : Immigrant Women i n Saskatchewan," i n Women-Isolation and Bonding: t he Ec o l o g y of Gender, eds., K. S t o r r i e and Canadian Research I n s t i t u t e f o r Advancement of Women, ( A g r i c o u r t , O n t a r i o : Supply and S e r v i c e s Canada, 1987), 142. 5 d e f i n i t i o n downplays some fac tors which make both 'immigrant' and 'non-immigrant' women vulnerable to v i o l e n c e , the paper w i l l focus mainly on problems faced by women who f i t the l e g a l d e f i n i t i o n . S o - c a l l e d temporary workers (those who have temporary work permi t s ) , temporary permit holders (students, v i s i t o r s , refugee or immigrant claimants whose cases are being processed by the author i ty ) w i l l be inc luded i n t h i s d e f i n i t i o n . 2. Vio lence Against Women: The term i s defined as any act of gender-based v io lence or threat of v i o l e n c e , which may r e s u l t i n p h y s i c a l , sexual , psycho log ica l as wel l as f i n a n c i a l harm to women, regardless of whether i t takes place i n p r i v a t e or p u b l i c l i f e . A. As sau l t s / s exua l as sau l t s : This paper w i l l fo l low the l e g a l d e f i n i t i o n s of the terms. Sect ion 265 of the Cr imina l Code of Canada states there are three l eve l s of a s sau l t : attempted or threatened assaul t by act or gesture, for the purpose of apply ing force to another person without that person's consent; assaul t s with a weapon or that cause b o d i l y harm, which u s u a l l y means bleeding or broken bones; aggravated assaul t where the v i c t i m i s wounded, maimed or d i s f i g u r e d , or has her l i f e endangered. The Code defines the term "sexual assault" as those assaul ts "directed at those parts of the body normally assoc iated with sexual a c t i v i t y . This impl ies that the term "sexual assaults" inc ludes unwanted sexual touching, forced sexual in t ercourse , moles ta t ion , e x h i b i t i o n i s m , the use of a weapon or wounding during a sexual a s s a u l t , and e x p l o i t a t i o n . 1 1 By i m p l i c a t i o n , the term appl ies to "a range of c r i m i n a l a c t i v i t i e s from harass ing telephone c a l l s or 12 mischief to aggravated a s sau l t ." 5. M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m p o l i c y : In the everyday usage, m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m has a broad range of d e f i n i t i o n s . Demographically, for example, Canada was already m u l t i c u l t u r a l even before the federa l government proclaimed m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m p o l i c y . However, the term i s used 1 1 For more d i s c u s s i o n see L. H a n s k e l l and M. R a n d a l l , "the Women's S a f e t y P r o j e c t , " A5; K. M a r s h a l l , " V i o l e n c e i n the Fa m i l y , " 175. 1 2 B.C. M i n i s t r y of A t t o r n e y G e n e r a l , " V i o l e n c e A g a i n s t Women i n R e l a t i o n s h i p s P o l i c y , " i n V i o l e n c e A g a i n s t Women and C h i l d r e n , P a r t I , ( V i c t o r i a , B.C.: Queen's P r i n t e r , 1993), 2. 6 i n t h i s paper i n a p o l i t i c a l sense. More narrowly, the term i s defined i n t h i s paper as p o l i c y which meets the object ives of the Canadian M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m A c t . These objec t ives inc lude: F o s t e r i n g awareness and understanding of the c u l t u r a l d i v e r s i t y of Canadian soc ie ty ; promoting understanding among Canadians of d i f f e r e n t backgrounds; r a i s i n g awareness of , and working to e l iminate , racism and r a c i a l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n ; a s s i s t i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s to become more access ib le and responsive to a l l Canadians; encouraging the f u l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n of e thnocu l tura l communities; and overcoming problems of long-term i n t e g r a t i o n faced by f i r s t - g e n e r a t i o n Canadians. 6. M u l t i c u l t u r a l Theory: As used here, the term re fers mainly to those aspects of m u l t i c u l t u r a l theory that deal with c u l t u r a l s e c u r i t y . That i s to say, i t r e f er s i n large par t to ideas about how minor i ty r i g h t s to c u l t u r a l s e c u r i t y can be promoted. 7. S o c i a l s erv i ce s : The term "soc ia l services" i n th i s paper re fers to any type of s o c i a l s erv ice that i s e i t h e r p a r t i a l l y or t o t a l l y p u b l i c l y funded. The term includes serv ices provided by such i n s t i t u t i o n s as the p o l i c e , medical i n s t i t u t i o n s , government organizat ions , and non-government organizat ion that are funded by governments. 8. Settlement Serv ices : The term re fer s to serv ices which are s p e c i f i c a l l y designed for the needs of immigrants, and which mainstream Canadians do not u s u a l l y need. These serv ices inc lude language and job t r a i n i n g . H e r i t a g e Canada, D i v e r s i t y : Meeting the Government Commitment, 1992/3 Annual Report on the O p e r a t i o n of the Canadian M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m A c t , Ottawa; Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1994 7 Chapter 1. T h e o r e t i c a l Framework-The v i l e s t malefactor has some wretched women t i e d to him, against whom he can commit any a t r o c i t y except k i l l i n g her, and, i f t o l e r a b l y caut ious , can do that without much danger of the l e g a l penal ty . And how many thousands are there among the lowest c lasses i n every country, who indulge the utmost hab i tua l excesses of bod i ly v io lence towards the unhappy wife , who alone, at l east of grown persons, can ne i ther repe l nor escape from t h e i r b r u t a l i t y ; and towards whom the excess of dependence i n s p i r e s t h e i r mean and savage n a t u r e s . . . This essay "The Subject ion of Women," by John Stuart M i l l i s considered to be the f i r s t s i g n i f i c a n t p o l i t i c a l document which s tates oppos i t ion to wife b a t t e r i n g . In h i s essay, M i l l a t t r i b u t e d "bodi ly v io lence towards the unhappy wife" to men's "mean and savage nature. 1 ^ These men b e l i e v e , according to M i l l , that "the law has d e l i v e r e d her [wife] to them as t h e i r t h i n g , to be used at t h e i r p l e a s u r e . " ^ At the time M i l l wrote t h i s essay, B r i t i s h common law allowed a man to beat h i s wife with a rod no t h i c k e r than h i s thumb. This s o - c a l l e d "rule of thumb" was considered, by both men and women of M i l l ' s t ime, to be more humane than the previous ru le that allowed a man to beat h i s wife "with any reasonable instrument ." 1 ' M i l l wrote that the s ta te ' s ' f eeb le ' attempts to repress wife ba t t er ing "within these few years" had done l i t t l e and "cannot be expected to do much," leav ing the v i c t i m s t i l l " in the power of the execut ioner." M i l l concluded that the s o l u t i o n to the problem, therefore , rested i n g i v i n g women the r i g h t to divorce t h e i r husbands on the grounds of v i o l e n c e . M i l l wrote: Unless a conv ic t ion for personal v i o l e n c e , or at a l l events a r e p e t i t i o n of i t a f t er a f i r s t c o n v i c t i o n , e n t i t l e s the women ipso facto to a d ivor c e , or at l eas t to a j u d i c i a l separat ion , the attempt to repress these aggravated assaul ts by l e g a l pena l t i e s w i l l break down for want of a prosecutor , or for want of a witness . M i l l ' s essay helped spark controversy about family v io lence i n the B r i t i s h Parliament and the B r i t i s h government made wife b a t t e r i n g i l l e g a l by the end of 1 4 J . S . H i l l , "The S u b j e c t i o n o f Somen (1869)," i n On L i b e r t y : With The S u b j e c t i o n of Women and Chapters on S o c i a l i s m , ed., S . C o l l i n i , (Cambridge, N.Y.:Press S y n d i c a t e of the U n i v e r s i t y of Cambridge, 1989), 151. 1 5 I b i d . 1 6 I b i d . 1 7 D.Dutton, The Domestic A s s a u l t of Women: P s y c h o l o g i c a l and C r i m i n a l J u s t i c e P e r s p e c t i v e s , (Boston, London, Sydney and Toronto: A l l y n and Bacon, I n c . , 1988), 11. 1 8 J . S . M i l l , "The S u b j e c t i o n of Women," 152. 8 the 19th century. However, to t h i s day, women i n Canada are s t i l l faced with the threat of male v i o l e n c e . Vio lence against women i s a c r o s s - c u l t u r a l phenomenon but, the problem i s more d i s t r e s s i n g for immigrant women because of the other disadvantages they face i n l i f e . The fac tors that make them more he lp less i n the face of v io lence w i l l be discussed i n chapter 2. In Canada, the 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms, i n sec t ion 15 (1) , ensures that every i n d i v i d u a l i s equal before and under the law and has the r i g h t to equal p r o t e c t i o n and equal benef i t of the law without d i s c r i m i n a t i o n "based on race , na t iona l or e thnic o r i g i n , c o l o u r , r e l i g i o n , sex, age or mental and p h y s i c a l d i s a b i l i t y . " The widespread v io lence against Canadian women, i n c l u d i n g immigrant women, however, can be seen as evidence that the Canadian government i s not l i v i n g up to i t s own pledge for ' e q u a l i t y , ' no matter how one defines the term. This chapter w i l l explore p o l i t i c a l theories of relevance to the issue of v io lence against immigrant women i n Canada. It w i l l focus on some of the key concepts necessary to examine the problem, such as v i o l e n c e , oppress ion, and e q u a l i t y . For t h i s purpose, t h i s chapter w i l l focus on two schools of p o l i t i c a l theory, feminist theories and theories of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m that focus on c u l t u r a l s e c u r i t y . The f i r s t part of t h i s chapter w i l l examine how contemporary feminist theories view the problem of v io lence against women i n genera l . I w i l l a l so show how and to what degree these theories are re levant when they are used to examine the i ssue of immigrant women i n Canada. I w i l l show that mainstream feminis t theories are i n some ways i r r e l e v a n t to immigrant women, because they have tended to look at immigrant women's problems as something i n c i d e n t a l or add i t i ve to gender issues rather than as problems i n t h e i r own r i g h t . The second part of the chapter w i l l look at the issue of the i n t e r s e c t i o n of sexual oppression with other forms of oppression from the perspect ive of c u l t u r a l s e c u r i t y . I t w i l l show how c u l t u r a l s e c u r i t y theories have not yet resolved the issue of c o n f l i c t s between women's r i g h t s and the c u l t u r a l norms of e thnic minor i ty groups. In conc lus ion , I w i l l argue that the issue of v io lence against immigrant women l i e s i n a t h e o r e t i c a l crack between these' two schools of p o l i t i c a l thought. I w i l l conclude that ne i ther feminism or m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m can provide a comprehensive t h e o r e t i c a l bas is for examining the c r o s s - s e c t i o n of gender and other forms of oppress ion. 1. Feminism The h i s t o r y of v io lence against women d id not j u s t s t a r t at the time of M i l l . ^ Despite i t s long h i s t o r y , v io lence against women was seldom seen as a h u m i l i a t i o n of women's own r i g h t s . The under ly ing s o c i a l assumption t o l e r a t i n g v io lence against women was that women belonged to t h e i r husbands: rape was a v i o l a t i o n of a husband's property; and wife b a t t e r i n g was not a p u b l i c i ssue at a l l . Not only was the i ssue of v io lence against women v i r t u a l l y ignored by the s ta te , the soc ie ty as a whole often considered women to be i t s cause. Even now, v i c t i m myth perpetuates i t s e l f . Women "provoke, tease and taut men, i n v i t e t h e i r sexual advances and then push them away." Or women "annoy, disobey and confront , thus leading or c o n t r i b u t i n g the v io lence they encounter." Or women were "wearing the wrong c l o t h i n g or drank too much a l c o h o l . " In the f i e l d of p o l i t i c a l sc ience , the problem of v io lence against women was often neglected u n t i l the feminist movement, supported by the slogan "the personal i s p o l i t i c a l , " launched a strenuous campaign against i t s t a r t i n g i n the 1960's. From the l a t e 1960's onward, feminis t t h e o r i s t s have made contr ibut ions to the ana lys i s of v io lence against women. I w i l l descr ibe three of the various feminist perspect ives on v io lence against women. One i s the feminist observat ion that the t r a d i t i o n a l t h e o r e t i c a l dichotomy between the p r i v a t e and the p u b l i c , rooted i n e a r l y l i b e r a l 1 3 S i n c e a n c i e n t t i m e s , as e a r l y as B a b y l o n i a n c i v i l i z a t i o n , the rape of women has been viewed as an ac c e p t a b l e p a r t of conquest by armies. The Decretum, the f i r s t e n d uring s y s t e m a t i z a t i o n of church law w r i t t e n i n 1140, s p e c i f i e d t h a t women were s u b j e c t t o t h e i r men and needed punishment f o r c o r r e c t i o n . The punishment was made nece s s a r y by women's supposed i n f e r i o r i t y and the suspected i n f l u e n c e of d e v i l s . Even i n the 18th c e n t u r y , the Napoleonic C i v i l Code, which i n f l u e n c e d French, S w i s s , I t a l i a n , and German laws, v e s t e d a b s o l u t e f a m i l y power i n men and r e c o g n i z e d v i o l e n c e as a ground f o r d i v o r c e o n l y when the c o u r t s decided t h a t i t c o n s t i t u t e d attempted murder. In modern Europe, rape was o f t e n p r o h i b i t e d by law and r a p i s t s were o f t e n punished s e v e r e l y . In England, rape law e x i s t e d as e a r l y as 1275. The St a t u e of Westminster s t a t e d t h a t a rape a s s a i l a n t c o u l d f a c e a two y e a r s ' imprisonment p l u s a f i n e . And f i v e y e a r s l a t e r , the maximum sentence was extended t o death. S i m i l a r r e g u l a t i o n s and laws e x i s t e d i n o t h e r Western s t a t e s . In Canada, the f i r s t major c r i m i n a l s t a t u e of 1841 r e q u i r e d proof of p e n e t r a t i o n f o r c o n v i c t i o n of rape. During the 19th c e n t u r y i n Canada, a rape v i c t i m had t o prove t h a t she a c t i v e l y r e s i s t e d the a t t a c k t o secure a c o n v i c t i o n f o r rape. The 1892 Canadian C r i m i n a l Code, f o r the f i s t time c o d i f i e d "spousal immunity," p r e v e n t i n g the s t a t e from i n t e r f e r i n g i n v i o l e n c e w i t h i n t he f a m i l y . For the h i s t o r y of v i o l e n c e a g a i n s t women see B. S t a n l e y , The Ex p e r i e n c e of the Rape V i c t i m w i t h the C r i m i n a l J u s t i c e System P r i o r t o Bill C-127, (Ottawa, Supply and S e r v i c e s Canada, 1985); and D. B u t t o n , The Domestic A s s a u l t of Women. 2 0 CPVAW, Changing the Landscape, 4. J . B a r n s l e y , F e m i n i s t A c t i o n , I n s t i t u t i o n a l R e a c t i o n : Responses t o Wife A s s a u l t , (Vancouver: Women's Research C e n t r e , 1985),19. p o l i t i c a l thought, has kept wife abuse immune from s tate i n t e r v e n t i o n . The second i s the concept of fa l se gender n e u t r a l i t y . Feminists have argued that laws and i n s t i t u t i o n s , even i f they are seemingly gender n e u t r a l , often r e f l e c t male-biased views and tend to nurture male supremacy over women. The t h i r d i s the idea that v io l ence against women i s systematic: behind the prevalence of v io lence against women, there are power s tructures which endorse male dominance over women. The f i r s t perspec t ive , the p r i v a t e - p u b l i c dichotomy i s , i n Carole Pateman's word, "central to almost two centuries of feminist wr i t ing" and i s 11 "what the feminis t movement i s about." The t r a d i t i o n of the p u b l i c / p r i v a t e dichotomy—that idea that p o l i t i c s i s what happens i n p u b l i c , while the p r i v a t e re fers to act ions wi th in the family—had c o v e r t l y p r o h i b i t e d s tate i n t e r v e n t i o n i n "private a f f a i r s , " such as wife abuse .^ The rami f i ca t ions that the p u b l i c - p r i v a t e d i v i s i o n had for v io lence against American women are explained extens ive ly by Susan M o l l a r Okin i n her book J u s t i c e , Gender, and the Family . She notes that what happens i n domestic and personal l i f e i s not immune from the dynamic of power because women are often subject to male power i n t h e i r p r i v a t e l i v e s . But, power wi th in the fami ly , Okin notes, has often not been recognized as such, e i t h e r because " i t has been regarded as natura l" or because i t i s assumed that "a l tru i sm and the harmony of in teres t s" w i t h i n the fami ly make power "an i n s i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r . " 2 4 Okin argues that the not ion that power i s not a fac tor i n fami ly l i f e i s a myth. As has now become well-known, wife abuse i s not an uncommon phenomenon i n the U . S . However, people are far more to l erant of p h y s i c a l abuse of a woman by a man when they be l ieve she i s h i s wife or g i r l f r i e n d 3 . " C. Pateman, The D i s o r d e r of Women, (Cambridge, U.K.: P o l i t y P r e s s , 1989), 118. " A c c o r d i n g t o Pateman, the t h e o r e t i c a l b a s i s f o r the l i b e r a l s e p a r a t i o n of the p u b l i c and the p r i v a t e • was p r o v i d e d i n John Locke's Second T r e a t i e s of Government (1689). Locke argued t h a t p o l i t i c a l power must not be confused w i t h p a t e r n a l power over c h i l d r e n i n the f a m i l y sphere,, which i s a n a t u r a l r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t ends a t the m a t u r i t y of male c h i l d r e n . Locke, however, argued t h a t n a t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s between men and women e n t a i l the s u b j e c t i o n of women t o men, or more s p e c i f i c a l l y , wives t o husbands. A c c o r d i n g t o Pateman, Locke takes i t g r a n t e d t h a t r u l e of husbands over wives i s not i n c l u d e d i n p o l i t i c a l power. For more d i s c u s s i o n s on the p u b l i c and p r i v a t e dichotomy see C. Pateman, The D i s o r d e r of Women, 120-121. 2 4 S . Okin, J u s t i c e , Gender and the F a m i l y , (U.S.: B a s i c Books, I n c . , 1989),128. I b i d . , 129. 11 Because of the underly ing assumption that family disputes are p r i v a t e , u n t i l qui te r e c e n t l y , the s tate a u t h o r i t i e s were loath to intervene i n wife b a t t e r i n g . 2 6 In the 1970's and 1980's, p a r t l y as a r e s u l t of feminist lobbying that began i n the 1960's, "wife abuse has been discovered" and i s becoming recognized as a ser ious problem that soc ie ty must act o n . 2 7 The most obvious i m p l i c a t i o n the p r i v a t e / p u b l i c dichotomy has for the i ssue of v io lence against women i s that i t has kept the problem of wife abuse out of the p o l i t i c a l scene. Over the past two decades, the feminist perspect ive on v io lence against women has helped to change p u b l i c perceptions of wife abuse. In contemporary Canadian s o c i e t y , the problem of wife abuse i s becoming recognized as p o l i t i c a l . However, p a r t l y due to the p e r s i s t e n t assumption that makes the state i n t e r v e n t i o n i n "family disputes" a taboo, a battered woman i s often forced to choose secrecy over freedom to report because of the fear that s tate a u t h o r i t i e s would not be l i eve her s tory or protec t her from v i o l e n c e . The second feminist perspect ive on v io lence against women i s the exposure of f a l se gender n e u t r a l i t y . Radica l feminist Catharine MacKinnon provides us with a comprehensive examination of how the s ta te ' s f a l s e gender n e u t r a l i t y a f fec t s women. 2 8 The core of her argument i s that p o l i t i c a l power i s male-biased even i f i t i s covered by seemingly gender neutra l p r i n c i p l e s . MacKinnon notes that "the state i s male j u r i s p r u d e n t i a l l y , " because i t adopts "the standpoint of male power on the r e l a t i o n between law and s o c i e t y . " 2 9 The foundation of s tate n e u t r a l i t y i s , MacKinnon w r i t e s , the pervasive assumption that "sexual i n e q u a l i t y does not r e a l l y e x i s t i n society ." 3 " Laws assume that "society , absent government 2 6 I b i d . 2 7 I b i d . , 129. L 0 The term " f a l s e gender n e u t r a l i t y " i s c i t e d i n Susan Okin i n her book J u s t i c e , Gender, and the F a m i l y . A l t h o u g h MacKinnon does not s p e c i f i c a l l y used t h i s term i n her w r i t i n g s , my c h o i c e t o use the term i n s t e a d of ' n e u t r a l i t y ' or ' o b j e c t i v i t y , ' as c i t e d i n MacKinnon's w r i t i n g s , i s based on the b e l i e f t h a t " f a l s e gender n e u t r a l i t y " f i t s b e t t e r i n MacKinnon's arguments on male power s t r u c t u r e s . C.MacKinnon, Toward a F e m i n i s t Theory of the S t a t e , (Cambridge, Mass. and London: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1989),163. 3 0 I b i d . 12 i n t e r v e n t i o n , i s f r e e a n d e q u a l . " 3 1 I n f a c t , t h e r e i s a m p l e e v i d e n c e t h a t m e n a n d w o m e n a r e n o t e q u a l n o m a t t e r h o w o n e d e f i n e s t h e t e r m ' e q u a l i t y . ' E c o n o m i c a l l y , w o m e n o n a v e r a g e e a r n l e s s t h a n m e n . W o m e n ' s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i n p o l i t i c s r e m a i n s m i n i m a l e v e n i f w o m e n p o s s e s s t h e s a m e p o l i t i c a l r i g h t s a s m e n . M a c K i n n o n w r i t e s t h a t s t a t e p o l i c y f r a m e s a n d u n d e r m i n e s w o m e n ' s e x p e r i e n c e , b y a p p l y i n g a s s u m p t i o n s f r o m t h e m a l e p e r s p e c t i v e t o w o m e n ' s r e a l i t y . O v e r a n d o v e r a g a i n , s h e n o t e s , " t h e s t a t e p r o t e c t s m a l e p o w e r t h r o u g h e m b o d y i n g a n d e n s u r i n g e x i s t i n g m a l e c o n t r o l o v e r w o m e n a t e v e r y l e v e l . " 3 2 H o w d o e s t h i s c o n c e p t o f f a l s e g e n d e r n e u t r a l i t y a p p l y t o t h e s y s t e m a t i c n a t u r e o f v i o l e n c e a g a i n s t w o m e n ? T h e g e n d e r - n e u t r a l i t y o f l a w s , M a c K i n n o n w r i t e s , w o r k s t o p r e s e r v e m a l e i n t e r e s t s : r a p e l a w d o e s n o t c o n s i d e r c a s e s w h e r e a w o m a n f e e l s p r e s s u r e d i n t o h a v i n g s e x a s r a p e b e c a u s e s h e f a i l s t o a c t i v e l y o p p o s e t h e a c t ; p r i v a c y l a w t r e a t s " t h e p r i v a t e s p h e r e a s a s p h e r e o f p e r s o n a l f r e e d o m , " w h i l e i n r e a l i t y " t h e m e n ' s r e a l m o f p r i v a t e f r e e d o m i s w o m e n ' s r e a l m 00 o f c o l l e c t i v e s u b o r d i n a t i o n " J J a n d w o m e n a r e o f t e n b e a t e n a n d r a p e d i n p r i v a t e ; o b s c e n i t y l a w s e n s u r e t h a t w o m e n ' s b o d i e s a r e a v a i l a b l e t o m e n t h r o u g h p o r n o g r a p h y . F r o m t h e s e e x a m p l e s , M a c K i n n o n c o n c l u d e s t h a t t h e l a w s a r e i n t e g r a l t o s e x u a l p o l i t i c s b e c a u s e t h e s t a t e , t h r o u g h l a w s , i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e s m a l e s e x u a l 34 p o w e r o v e r w o m e n . J I n s h o r t , s e e m i n g l y n e u t r a l s t a t e p o w e r , M a c K i n n o n a r g u e s , c o v e r t l y h e l p s t o s u s t a i n m a l e v a l u e s t h a t t o l e r a t e v i o l e n c e a g a i n s t w o m e n . O t h e r f e m i n i s t w r i t e r s , s u c h a s A n n P h i l l i p s a n d O k i n a l s o d i s c u s s f a l s e n e u t r a l i t y , a l t h o u g h t h e i r w r i t i n g s d o n o t o f f e r a s c o m p r e h e n s i v e a n a n a l y s i s o f v i o l e n c e a g a i n s t w o m e n a s M a c K i n n o n ' s w r i t i n g s d o . 3 3 T h e r e a s o n w h y M i l l ' s d r e a m — t h a t w o m e n 3 1 I b i d . 3 2 I b i d . , 167. 3 3 I b i d . , 168. 3 4 I b i d . , 169. 35 A c c o r d i n g t o Okin, contemporary p o l i t i c a l t h e o r i s t s use gender n e u t r a l language t h a t i s i n f a c t male b i a s e d by " i g n o r i n g the i r r e d u c i b l e b i o l o g i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s between the sexes, and/or by i g n o r i n g t h e i r d i f f e r e n t a s s i g n e d s o c i a l r o l e s and conseguent power d i f f e r e n t i a l s . " She a l s o argues t h a t i t s harmful e f f e c t s can be seen i n p u b l i c p o l i c i e s t h a t have d i r e c t l y a f f e c t e d a l a r g e number of women a d v e r s e l y . For more d i s c u s s i o n s see, Okin, J u s t i c e , Gender, and the F a m i l y . 11. Ann P h i l l i p s i n her book Engendering Democracy, (Cambridge, U.K.: P o l i t y 13 could be l i b e r a t e d from male v io lence once the s tate gave them the same p o l i t i c a l r i g h t s as m e n — d i d not come true can be traced to the ear ly l i b e r a l t r a d i t i o n of n e u t r a l i t y that i s i n fac t male b iased . The t h i r d perspect ive of feminist t h e o r i e s , the systematic nature of v io lence against women, i s explained by I r i s M. Young. Although she does not focus s p e c i f i c a l l y on the i ssue of v io lence against immigrant women per se , her d e f i n i t i o n s of power and oppression give us a c l e a r e r p i c t u r e of the nature of v io lence against women. In her book J u s t i c e and the P o l i t i c s of D i f f erence , Young defines power as a s o c i a l r e l a t i o n . 0 0 Resources, such as money, m i l i t a r y equipment, and so on, "should not be confused with power i t s e l f , " because the power, according to Young, cons i s t s i n "a r e l a t i o n s h i p between the exerc i ser and others through which he or she communicates in tent ions and meets with t h e i r acquiescence." At the same time, Young defines the term oppression as the i n s t i t u t i o n a l cons tra int on self-development. In her d e f i n i t i o n of oppress ion, a person may not be m a t e r i a l l y ' d e p r i v e d , ' but he/she may be 'oppressed' because of h i s / h e r d i f ference from mainstream soc i e ty , such as h i s / h e r s o c i a l p o s i t i o n , c u l t u r e , r e l i g i o n , gender, or e t h n i c i t y . In other words, oppression r e f e r s to s i t u a t i o n s i n which "a systematic i n s t i t u t i o n a l process" prevents some groups of people from l e a r n i n g , us ing s a t i s f y i n g and expansive s k i l l s i n s o c i a l l y recognized set t ings" or the process that i n h i b i t s people 's a b i l i t y "to communicate with others or express t h e i r f ee l ings on s o c i a l l i f e i n contexts i n where others can l i s t e n . " J ' Oppression, therefore , cons is t s of " s t r u c t u r a l P r e s s , 1991), w r i t e s t h a t the l i b e r a l n o t i o n of u n i v e r s a l e q u a l i t y equates e q u a l i t y w i t h p o s s e s s i o n of r i g h t s w h i l e some are s y s t e m a t i c a l l y denied access t o t h e e x e r c i s e of these r i g h t s . A l t h o u g h P h i l l i p s does n o t s p e c i f i c a l l y focus on the i s s u e of v i o l e n c e a g a i n s t women, her p o i n t l e a d s the same d i r e c t i o n as MacKinnon's concept of n e u t r a l i t y . For d e t a i l s see, A. P h i l l i p s , Engendering Democracy, 151. 0 0 I . Young, J u s t i c e and the P o l i t i c s of D i f f e r e n c e , ( P r i n c e t o n , N.J.: P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1990), 31. 3 7 I b i d . 3 8 I b i d . , 37. I b i d . , 38. 14 phenomena that immobilize or d iminish a group. 40 Moreover, Young argues that oppression has f ive faces: e x p l o i t a t i o n , m a r g i n a l i z a t i o n , powerlessness, c u l t u r a l imper ia l i sm, and v i o l e n c e . Along with the other four types of oppress ion, v io lence i s systematic i n that i t i s often d i rec t ed at members of a c e r t a i n g r o u p . 4 1 Many s o c i a l groups, such as women, b lacks , As ians , gays and lesbians i n the U . S . , su f fer the oppression of systematic v i o l e n c e . Young argues that v io lence should be considered as one manifestat ion of s o c i a l i n j u s t i c e , despite the fac t that p o l i t i c a l t h e o r i s t s do not u s u a l l y i n t e r p r e t i t as being a matter of s o c i a l i n j u s t i c e . She notes: What makes v io lence a face of oppression i s less the p a r t i c u l a r acts of v io lence themselves, though these are often u t t e r l y h o r r i b l e , than the s o c i a l context surrounding them, which makes them poss ib le and even acceptable . For Young, v io lence often occurs i n a s o c i a l context i n which one group i s more vulnerable than others . What makes v io lence a phenomenon of s o c i a l i n j u s t i c e , and not an i n d i v i d u a l moral wrong, Young notes, i s "its systemic character , i t s existence as a s o c i a l p r a c t i c e . " 4 4 According to Young, v io lence against women i s a manifes tat ion of the power-imbalance between the two sexes. Behind the widespread v i c t i m i z a t i o n of women there l i e systematic sexual i n e q u a l i t i e s . O v e r a l l , Young's concept of v io lence and the impact of systematic v io lence against women have been widely accepted by leaders of feminis t movements. P a r t l y because of t h e i r strenuous e f f o r t s , recent p o l i t i c a l documents have come to accept that v io lence against women i s systematic , and that the problem cannot be solved unless the power imbalance between men and women i s removed a l l together. A proposed UN Dec lara t ion on the E l i m i n a t i o n of Vio lence Against Women, for example, describes v io lence against women as: . . . a manifestat ion of h i s t o r i c a l l y unequal power r e l a t i o n s between men and women, which have l ed to domination over and d i s c r i m i n a t i o n against women by men and which have prevented women's f u l l advancement. Vio lence against 40 I b i d . , 41. 41 I b i d . , 62. 42 I b i d . , 6 1 . 43 I b i d . , 61. 44 I b i d . 15 women i s one of the c r u c i a l s o c i a l mechanisms.iy which women are forced i n t o a subordinate p o s i t i o n compared to men. " How do these feminist ideas contr ibute to the ana lys i s of immigrant women? Although these authors do not s p e c i f i c a l l y t a l k about immigrant women, t h e i r ideas seems to make three major c o n t r i b u t i o n s . F i r s t , the feminis t c r i t i c i s m of the p u b l i c / p r i v a t e dichotomy i s use fu l for examining how women who immigrate to Canada i n the family member category are subject to male power w i th in the fami ly . By crea t ing the category of l e g a l dependant, the s tate i s endorsing immigrant women's subordinat ion to t h e i r husbands. The negative impact the family c lass category has on immigrant women w i l l be examined i n greater d e t a i l i n chapter 3. Secondly, the feminist concept of fa l se gender n e u t r a l i t y of the s tate may be useful for examining how seemingly neutra l s tate laws and r e g u l a t i o n s , e s p e c i a l l y ones r e l a t e d to immigration, have adverse e f fec t s on women. T h i r d l y , the feminis t view that v io l ence against women i s systematic and i s one manifes tat ion of i n e q u a l i t y between the two sexes i s valuable for the examination of v io lence against immigrant women. I f we accept such a view, we must examine how sexual i n e q u a l i t i e s i n p o l i t i c a l s tructures t o l e r a t e and nurture v io lence against women. Despite s i g n i f i c a n t c o n t r i b u t i o n s , the mainstream feminist perspect ive on v io lence against women has one major d e f i c i e n c y : mainstream feminis t theor ies tend to downplay the d i v e r s i t y of women's experience. ^ In p a r t i c u l a r , MacKinnon's analyses of v io lence against women, and to a l e sser degree Young's, tend to overlook the poss ib le impact that racism has on v io lence against women of colour and women who are members of minor i ty groups. .For example, MacKinnon, i n her book Feminism Unmodified, notes that women, are l i k e l y to report rapes, when they think t h e i r s t o r i e s w i l l be be l i eved . Rapes that are l i k e l y to be reported are: rapes by a s tranger , or rapes by black men. Although i n t e r r a c i a l rapes are l eas t common, MacKinnon notes, a r a c i s t image that what 4 5 CPVAW, Changing the Landscape: Ending V i o l e n c e " A c h i e v i n g E q u a l i t y , 6. ^ Rosemarie Tong, f o r example, c r i t i c i z e s r a d i c a l f e m i n i s t a n a l y s i s , i n c l u d i n g MacKinnon's, n o t i n g t h a t r a d i c a l f e m i n i s t s tend, t o view p a t r i a r c h y as the u n i v e r s a l cause of women's o p p r e s s i o n and t o downplay the d i v e r s i t y of women's e x p e r i e n c e , see, R. Tong, F e m i n i s t Thought: A Comprehensive I n t r o d u c t i o n , ( B o u l d e r , San F r a n c i s c o : Westview P r e s s , 1989), 174. < "> 4 7 C.MacKinnon, Feminism Unmodified, (Cambridge, M.A. & London: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1987), 81. 16 rape -is about -is black men d e f i l i n g "our white womanhood" i s at p lay when women AO decide to report rapes . She goes on to note that black women are raped four times often as white women. 4 9 However, MacKinnon does not expla in why black women are more l i k e l y to be raped than white women. Since MacKinnon notes that i n t e r r a c i a l rapes are r a r e , we can deduce that- black women are raped mostly by blade men. Even i f t h i s i s the case, are blaGk men r e a l l y more 'dangerous' than white men? -If so, why? When MacKinnon writes that 'women' are l i k e l y to report when they are raped by a black man, does she mean that black women are l i k e l y to report when they are raped by a man of t h e i r race? What would black women do i f they were raped by a white man? Would they f e e l t h e i r s t o r i e s be be l i eved , i f they reported rapes by a white man? MacKinnon does not o f f er any answer to these quest ions . By downplaying the issue of race and i t s impact on v io lence against women, MacKinnon seems to equate white women's experience of rape with that of women of co lour . From her lack of d i s c u s s i o n , we may sa fe ly conclude that racism and i t s impact on v io l ence against women of colour i s i n s i g n i f i c a n t for MacKinnon. But, i s racism r e a l l y - ins ign i f i cant to the power dynamics behind v io lence against women of colour? I f not , what k i n d of ro le s does racism play i n v io lence against women of colour? Unfortunate ly , MacKinnon's works do not o f fer meaningful d i scuss ion of these i s sues . In t h i s sense, her theory i s somewhat i r r e l e v a n t to the examination of the mul t ip l e disadvantages of gender and race that women of colour face. Young's w r i t i n g i s more s e n s i t i v e to d i f f erences among women's experiences than i s MacKinnon's w r i t i n g . Young argues: "Those a f f i rming the s p e c i f i c i t y of a group a f f i n i t y should at the same time recognize and a f f i r m the group and i n d i v i d u a l d i f f erences w i th in the group," ^ Admitt ing that- there are d i f ferences among women, she notes, feminis t conferences and p u b l i c a t i o n s have generated " p a r t i c u l a r l y f r u i t f u l , though often emotional ly wrenching, d i scuss ions 1 0 I b i d . 4 9 I b i d . , 82. so I . Young, J u s t i c e and the P o l i t i c s of D i f f e r e n c e , 236. 17 of the oppression of r a c i a l and ethnic b l indness ." 5 1 Such feminist d i s cus s ions , Young w r i t e s , have generated respect for group d i f ferences that cut across t h e i r i d e n t i t i e s . She suggests that such d iscuss ions may lead to "other p o s s i b i l i t i e s of c o a l i t i o n and a l l i a n c e " amongst women.^2 Despite her c a l l for recogn i t ion of and respect for d i f ferences among women, Young does not o f f er pragmatic ways of dea l ing with d i f ferences w i th in women or of c r e a t i n g such a c o a l i t i o n . Perhaps the wr i t ings of r a d i c a l black feminis t b e l l hooks o f f er the most comprehensive analyses of "the ways racism and sexism are i n t e r l o c k i n g systems of domination which uphold and sus ta in one another." ^ While racism i s a s t r a t e g i c fac tor i n black women's experience of male v i o l e n c e , she notes, mainstream feminist theories do not have a proper a n a l y t i c a l basis for examining the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p between racism and sexism. She notes that many feminists continue to see "sexism and racism as completely separate issues."' 4 She a lso argues that we desperately need to explore and understand the connections between racism and sex i sm.^ Hooks admits that black men are u n w i l l i n g to confront sexism. Fee l ing as though they are constant ly on edge, t h e i r l i v e s always i n jeopardy, many black men cannot understand that t h e i r c o n d i t i o n of 'powerlessness' does not j u s t i f y sex i s t behaviour toward black women ^ At the same time, she notes, many black women tend to t o l e r a t e v io lence by t h e i r black partners because they f ee l that racism i s harder oh males than females, and that "nothing that [black] women 57 endure could p o s s i b l y equal [black] male pain" caused by r a c i s t oppress ion. Many b lack women, hooks w r i t e s , were r a i s e d i n homes where "black mothers excused 5 1 I b i d . , 162. 5 2 I b i d . , 163. hooks, Y e a r n i n g : Race, Gender, and C u l t u r a l P o l i t i c s . ( Boston, L A . : South End P r e s s , 1990), 59. 5 4 I b i d . , 59. 5 5 I b i d . , 63. I b i d . , 74. I b i d . , 74-75. 18 and explained male anger, i r r i t a b i l i t y , and v io lence by c a l l i n g a t t e n t i o n to the pressures black men face i n a r a c i s t soc i e ty where they are c o l l e c t i v e l y denied f u l l access to economic p o w e r , w h i l e they themselves worked long hours and often encountered racism i n t h e i r l i v e s , hooks argues that i f we are to l i v e i n a less v i o l e n t and more j u s t s o c i e t y , "we must engage i n a n t i - s e x i s t and a n t i - r a c i s t work." a 9 U n t i l b lack men can face the r e a l i t y that sexism empowers them despi te the impact of racism i n t h e i r l i v e s , she notes, i t w i l l be d i f f i c u l t to engage i n meaningful dialogue about gender. 6" The Black l i b e r a t i o n s truggle needs a revo lu t ionary v i s i o n , one that emerges from a feminist s t a n d p o i n t . 6 1 At the same time, the feminist s truggle must have a s o l i d a n t i - r a c i s t v i s i o n . She concludes that i n d i v i d u a l s committed to r e s i s t i n g the p o l i t i c s of domination and e r a d i c a t i n g sexism and racism, must understand "the importance of not promoting an e i t h e r / o r competit ion between the oppressive systems." 6 2 Although hooks writes from the standpoint of an American black woman, her ana lys i s on the interconnectedness of race and gender can be appl i ed to the examination of the i ssue of v io lence against immigrant women i n Canada. L ike black women i n the U . S . , immigrant women i n Canada, as wel l as immigrant men, often face r a c i s t assumptions i n t h e i r everyday i n t e r a c t i o n s with mainstream Canadian s o c i e t y . The ir experience with the Canadian system cannot be reduced to p a t r i a r c h y alone, because of the prevalence of racism i n the system. However, immigrant women's experience i n Canada or the U .S . may be far more complicated than that of black American women i n the U . S . . Sexism and racism cannot adequately account for v io lence against immigrant women who are not only margina l i zed because of t h e i r sex and race , but a l so because of e thnic 5 8 I b i d . , 75. 5 9 I b i d . , 63. 6 0 I b i d . , 7 5 . -61 I b i d . , 64. 6 2 I b i d . , 64. To say the s i t u a t i o n of immigrant women i s f a r more c o m p l i c a t e d than b l a c k women i n the U.S. does not mean t h a t one group i s more oppressed than the o t h e r . My purpose i n u s i n g the word 'c o m p l i c a t e d ' s i m p l y means t h a t immigrant women's problems are not t o be reduced t o p a t r i a r c h y or r a c i s m . o r i g i n , language a b i l i t y , and r e l i g i o u s and c u l t u r a l b e l i e f s . For example, some c u l t u r a l norms and r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s have supported or encouraged v io l ence against women. Women i n Pakis tan , when they are convicted of having ex tramar i ta l sexual r e l a t i o n s h i p s , i n c l u d i n g being raped, can be sentenced to be p u b l i c l y whipped, imprisoned or stoned to d e a t h . 6 4 Female g e n i t a l m u t i l a t i o n , often euphemis t i ca l ly and i n a c c u r a t e l y r e f e r r e d to as female c i r c u m c i s i o n , i s widely p r a c t i c e d i n A f r i c a . 6 5 In India a widow i s sometimes expected, encouraged, or forced by family and fr iends to commit s u i c i d e a f t er her husbands d i e s , although the s tate o f f i c i a l l y p r o h i b i t s such a c t s . When people immigrate from countr ies that have oppressive norms of th i s s o r t , at no point are they t o l d by Canadian a u t h o r i t i e s that such norms are unacceptable i n Canada- There i s no evidence to show that people automat ica l ly r e l i n q u i s h these norms a f t e r t h e i r a r r i v a l at Canada. In a d d i t i o n to c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s , immigrant women experience i s o l a t i o n , e x p l o i t a t i o n , a lack of information about Canadian laws and norms, and uncer ta inty about the fu ture . A l l of these fac tors combine to make a r e a l i t y that i s d i f f e r e n t from that of mainstream women. The ir experience i n the Canadian power s t ruc ture can be d i s t ingu i shed from that of mainstream women and other nat ive -born women, because of the immigrant women's experience of newness and strangeness that r e s u l t s from the act of immigration. The many problems that immigrant women experience i n t h e i r d a i l y l i v e s cannot simply be a t t r i b u t e d to a p a t r i a r c h a l or white-supremacist system, because i t i s the combination of d i f f e r e n t fac tors that makes immigrant women vulnerable to those who may take advantage of them. In sum, mainstream feminis t s tend to a t t r i b u t e v io l ence against women mainly to p a t r i a r c h y and to neglect other elements that may support widespread 6 4 CPVAW, Changing Landscape: Ending V i o l e n c e - A c h i e v i n g E q u a l i t y , 8.8. 6 5 The World H e a l t h O r g a n i z a t i o n has e s t i m a t e d t h a t was many as 114 m i l l i o n women worldwide have endured the procedure, which i n v o l v e s c u t t i n g away the c l i t o r i s and o f t e n o t h e r p a r t s of the v u l v a of a g i r l b e f o r e her pub e r t y . I t a l s o i n v o l v e d sewing t h e v a g i n a l opening s h u t w i t h sewing t h r e a d , o f t e n w i t h o u t t h e use o f a n e s t h e t i c s . The r e s u l t i s p a i n d u r i n g s e x u a l i n t e r c o u r s e , c o m p l i c a t i o n s d u r i n g c h i l d b i r t h due the presence o f s c a r t i s s u e and i n f e c t i o n . Some p e o p l e , i n c l u d i n g many women, defend the p r a c t i c e . However, the Canadian government, i n g r a n t i n g a . g i r l refugee s t a t u s due t o the t h r e a t of m u t i l a t i o n , agrees w i t h me i n t h i n k i n g t h a t such a p r a c t i c e s h o u l d not be t o l e r a t e d i n Canada. For d e t a i l s see, C. Farnsworth, "Canada Gives A Somali Refugee From G e n i t a l R i t e , " (The New York Times, 21 J u l y , 1994). The i s s u e w i l l a l s o be r e f e r r e d t o i n c h a p t e r two. I 20 vio lence against immigrant women. Theor is t s such as b e l l hooks, have a focus on the i n t e r s e c t i o n of sexism and racism, and more s p e c i f i c a l l y , on the impacts of racism on v io lence against women of co lour . However, i n general , f eminis t theories often deal with e thnic issues as something "addi t iona l" to gender i s sues . As I s h a l l argue l a t e r i n t h i s paper, immigrant women suf fer because of the lack of conceptual means for examining the mul t ip l e disadvantages they face. 2. M u l t i c u l t u r a l theories Feminism f a l l s short of p r o v i d i n g a comprehensive set of ideas for examining the s i t u a t i o n immigrant women face. Therefore , I w i l l examine theories of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m to see i f they contain the necessary resources to address the circumstances of immigrant women. The questions that w i l l be addressed i n t h i s s ec t ion are: How do theories of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m apply to immigrant women? How do t h e o r i s t s of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m view immigrant women's problems? As was mentioned e a r l i e r , feminis t theories mostly view immigrant women's problems with male v io lence as something a d d i t i o n a l to gender problems. Do theories of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , with t h e i r focus on e t h n i c i t y , provide a l t e r n a t i v e ideas that may be h e l p f u l i n examining the c r o s s - s e c t i o n of gender and e t h n i c i t y ? M u l t i c u l t u r a l t h e o r i s t s argue that "the supposedly f a i r and d i f f e r e n c e - b l i n d soc ie ty i s not only inhuman because i t suppresses i d e n t i t i e s , but a l s o , i n a subtle and unconscious way, i s i t s e l f h igh ly d i s c r i m i n a t o r y . " 6 6 In order to overcome th i s f a l s e n e u t r a l i t y , advocates of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m c a l l for respect for c u l t u r a l d i f ferences through s ta te r e c o g n i t i o n . P a r t l y due to pressures from these advocates and p a r t l y due to the gradual demographic transformation of Canadian soc ie ty toward m u l t i - e t h n i c composit ion, Canada proclaimed a m u l t i c u l t u r a l p o l i c y i n 1971. Canada acknowledges some forms of minor i ty r i g h t s , and has enacted a f f i rmat ive a c t i o n programs to address wide-spread i n e q u a l i t i e s among d i f f e r e n t groups. The most important c o n t r i b u t i o n of theories of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m to the analys i s of s tate p o l i c i e s toward immigrants i s t h e i r equal but d i f f e r e n t approach. According to Glazer , contemporary theories of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m a r i s e 6 6 C. T a y l o r , M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m and "the P o l i t i c s of R e c o g n i t i o n , ( P r i n c e t o n , N.J.: P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1992), 42. 21 from two opposite l i n e s of reasoning on e q u a l i t y : 1) people from ethnic minor i ty groups are j u s t l i k e members of the mainstream, so they should not be objects of pre judice and d i s c r i m i n a t i o n ; and 2) they are d i f f e r e n t and have a r i g h t to be d i f f e r e n t , and t h i s d i f f erence does not j u s t i f y any antagonism. 6 7 An underly ing b e l i e f that supports the "equal but d i f f e r e n t " approach of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m i s that c u l t u r a l her i tage i s an e s s e n t i a l element i n assessments of i n d i v i d u a l e q u a l i t y . Ind iv idua l s who are born in to minor i ty cu l tures face disadvantages that members of a dominant cu l ture do not. These disadvantages p e r s i s t , because h i s t o r i c a l i n e q u a l i t i e s that ex i s t even before a person of a minor i ty group i s born can s i g n i f i c a n t l y l i m i t the choice he/she makes i n h i s / h e r l i f e . Even i f the s tate ensures e q u a l i t y and freedom for everyone, there fore , i t cannot ensure e q u a l i t y and freedom for people of disadvantaged groups. This point i s c l e a r l y expressed by W. Kymlicka. Although he d i s t ingu i shes the s i t u a t i o n of immigrants from that of other e thnic minor i ty groups, h i s theory provides us with some i n s i g h t s on minor i ty r i g h t s . For example, Kymlicka d i s t ingu i shes group r i g h t s of immigrants from those of nat ive -born minor i ty groups. While he be l ieves that the French Canadian and A b o r i g i n a l people have a l eg i t imate case for t h e i r r i g h t to preserve t h e i r c u l t u r e , he argues that immigrants do not have the same c la im. In p a r t i c u l a r , A b o r i g i n a l people and the French Canadians are d i s t ingu i shed from immigrants "by the way they jo ined Canada." While the former formed se l f -govern ing communities i n Canada even before Canada was created , Kymlicka notes, most immigrants communities " v o l u n t a r i l y r e l i n q u i s h e d some of the r igh t s" when i n d i v i d u a l s and f a m i l i e s "chose to leave t h e i r o r i g i n a l cu l ture and j o i n a new soc i e ty ." 6 9 To say that immigrants " v o l u n t a r i l y re l inquished" t h e i r r i g h t to preserve t h e i r c u l t u r e , he notes, does not mean that "voluntary immigrants have no claims to protec t t h e i r c u l t u r a l her i tage ." 7 " But, he argues that "the ir claims are best met w i th in the 6 7 N. G l a z e r , E t h n i c Dilemmas: 1964-1982. (Concord, O n t a r i o : House of ftnsai P ress L t d . , 1983), 101-102. 68 S. K y m l i c k a , Recent Work i n C i t i z e n s h i p Theory, (Ottawa: C o r p o r a t e P o l i c y and Research, M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m and C i t i z e n s h i p Canada, 1992), 33. 6 9 I b i d . 7 0 I b i d . , 34. 22 guide l ines of m u l t i c u l t u r a l r i g h t s , " such as the c la im for p u b l i c support for "ethnic f e s t i v a l s , b i l i n g u a l education and e thnic studies i n schools ," and some measures aimed at he lp ing immigrants "express t h e i r c u l t u r a l p a r t i c u l a r i t y . " Kymlicka's arguments on self-government, there fore , do not apply to immigrants. However, h i s theory i s useful for examining s ta te p o l i c y toward immigrants because he agrees, i n p r i n c i p l e , with the idea that immigrants are e n t i t l e d to 71 some kind of group r i g h t s . Kymlicka notes that people of minor i ty groups do not enjoy the freedom to make decis ions concerning t h e i r own l i v e s as do people of the dominant group. While "the dec i s ion about how to lead our l i v e s must u l t i m a t e l y be ours alone," he notes , "our dec i s i on i s always a matter of s e l e c t i n g what we be l i eve to be most va luable from the var ious options a v a i l a b l e , s e l e c t i n g from a context of 7? choice which provides us with d i f f e r e n t ways of l i f e . " Kymlicka argues that we are bounded to our own c u l t u r a l community i n an important way. While what cu l ture one belongs to s i g n i f i c a n t l y determines one's a v a i l a b l e l i f e choices , one cannot change one's c u l t u r e . I t i s only through having a " r i c h and secure" c u l t u r e , that people can be aware of options a v a i l a b l e to them and i n t e l l i g e n t l y examine t h e i r va lues . 7 4 For t h i s reason, the s ta te ' s recogn i t ion of c e r t a i n "group r ight s" for minor i ty groups, Kymlicka argues, i s not contrad ic tory to e q u a l i t y , but i s "an i n t e g r a l part of e q u a l i t y . " 7^ M i n o r i t y r i g h t s are aimed at promoting the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of disadvantaged groups i n the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l arena and 7fi at e l i m i n a t i n g b a r r i e r s to t h e i r becoming t r u l y equal to the dominant group. What impl i ca t ions do Kymlicka's and G l a z e r ' s theories have for immigrant women? What happens i f a p a r t i c u l a r aspect of a cu l ture oppresses i t s female 71 K y m l i c k a argues t h a t r e f u g e e s have a more d i f f i c u l t case, s i n c e they d i d not choose t o l e a v e t h e i r o r i g i n a l c u l t u r e , but they are "too s m a l l and d i s p e r s e d " t o reform i n t o self-government communities i n Canada. 7 2 S. K y m l i c k a , L i b e r a l i s m , Community, and C u l t u r e , ( O x f o r d : Clarendon P r e s s , 1989), 164. 7 3 Ibid"., 175. 7 4 I b i d . , 165. 7 5 I b i d . , 1 9 0 . 7 6 I b i d . members? Which takes p r i o r i t y , a "secure cu l ture" or the p r o t e c t i o n of female human r ights? What can the s tate do to stop the oppressive p r a c t i c e ? Does i t have a r i g h t to intervene i n c u l t u r a l matters? Unfortunate ly , Kymlicka's ideas seem f a l l short of o f f e r i n g meaningful answers to these quest ions . For example, Kymlicka notes that i t i s important to d i s t i n g u i s h two kinds of group r i g h t s ; "rights of the group against i t s own members," and r i g h t s of e thnic groups "against other groups ." 7 7 He notes that while some ethnic groups have a l eg i t imate c la im for "rights against other groups," "rights against i t s members" i s incons i s t en t with democratic t r a d i t i o n s . 0 For example, he notes that some Indian bands i n the United States d i scr iminate against female members. Rights of a group against i t s own members are , he notes, "inconsistent with the l i b e r a l democratic t r a d i t i o n . " ' However, on Kymlicka be l i eves that very few c o l l e c t i v e r i g h t s i n Canada are of t h i s form. 0 He concludes, although rather n a i v e l y , that there seems to be "widespread acceptance amongst a l l Canadians of the bas ic p r i n c i p l e s of l i b e r a l democracy and 01 human r i g h t s . " Kymlicka a l so mentions that status Indian i n Canada, u n t i l 01 quite r e c e n t l y , l o s t t h e i r status when they married non-native men. However, Kymlicka does not further explore the issue of dea l ing with minor i ty c u l t u r a l values that are i n fac t undes irable for women. The r o l e of the state i n dea l ing with c u l t u r a l values that oppress women i s l e f t to be explored f u r t h e r . Another problem with s tate recogni t ion of d i f ferences i s that i t may not help completely eradicate widespread prejudices against c e r t a i n groups of people. T h e o r e t i c a l l y , s tate recogni t ion of group r i g h t s and state support for c u l t u r a l d i v e r s i t y i s supposed to b r i n g about an e g a l i t a r i a n soc i e ty . However, evidence to suggests that Canada's support for m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m over the past two decades has 77 W. K y m l i c k a , Recent Work i n C i t i z e n s h i p Theory. 36. 7 8 I b i d . 7 9 I b i d . , 36. o u I b i d . 8 1 I b i d . 82 K y m l i c k a , L i b e r a l i s m , Community and C u l t u r e . 149. 24 not brought l ed to the f u l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n of immigrant women i n Canadian soc i e ty . For example, Moghaddam and Taylor found, i n t h e i r study of Indo-Canadiah immigrant women i n Canada, that no matter how long they stayed i n Canada, they did not f e e l that other Canadians accepted them as Canadians• According to the study, the longer these immigrant women stayed i n Canada, the more they viewed themselves as Canadians. But, these immigrant women thought that other Canadians viewed them p r i m a r i l y as immigrants or Indo-Canadians. categories Moghaddam and Taylor sa id were u s u a l l y assoc iated with a negative image. What i s more, Moghaddam and Tay lor note, the f e e l i n g that "I am seen as an outs ider" seemed to have increased with t i m e . 0 0 They concluded that although immigrant women seemed to support the concept of c u l t u r a l p r e s e r v a t i o n , t h e i r support for c u l t u r a l preservat ion may have been a r e s u l t of t h e i r f ee l ings of i s o l a t i o n they experienced i n t h e i r d a i l y i n t e r a c t i o n with Canadian s o c i e t y . Although t h e i r study o f fers no evidence to suggest that immigrant women's f ee l ings of i s o l a t i o n i s product of Canadian m u l t i c u l t u r a l p o l i c i e s , the study suggests that Canadian m u l t i c u l t u r a l p o l i c i e s have f a i l e d to b r i n g about the f u l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n of immigrant women i n Canadian s o c i e t y . Kymlicka's theory may o f f e r some ins igh t s for exp la in ing why Canada, with i t s two decades of commitment to m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , has not yet brought about c i t i z e n s ' respect for members of minor i ty groups. Although Kymlicka argues that the s ta te ' s recogn i t ion of d i f ferences and enhancement of c u l t u r a l d i v e r s i t y i s a precondi t ion for na t iona l u n i t y , he a lso notes that there are many examples of countr i e s , such as Lebanon, where the i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n of group i d e n t i t i e s and r i g h t s has torn the country apart . Thus, a shared commitment of c i t i z e n s to the recogn i t ion of and respect for each other ' s c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s , Kymlicka notes, i s not enough to achieve n a t i o n a l u n i t y . C i t i z e n s must not only share 84 values and commitments, but a l so share "an i d e n t i t y , a sense of s o l i d a r i t y . " Although Kymlicka i s not s p e c i f i c a l l y t a l k i n g about immigrants i n Canada, h i s emphasis on a shared i d e n t i t y can be appl i ed to the ana lys i s of the s i t u a t i o n of F. Moghaddam and M. T a y l o r , "the Meaning of M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m f o r V i s i b l e M i n o r i t y Immigrant Women," i n Canadian J o u r n a l of B e h a v i o r a l S c i e n c e , v o l . 1 9 , no.2. ( A p r i l 1987): 121-136. W. K y m l i c k a , Recent Work i n C i t i z e n s h i p Theory, 39. 25 the immigrant. What i s l ack ing i n Canada seems to be a shared i d e n t i t y among i t s c i t i z e n s ; one that views immigrant women's problems as ours , not t h e i r s . In sum, t h e o r i s t s of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m o f f er some important i n s i g h t s when we attempt to examine s tate p o l i c i e s toward immigrant women. In p a r t i c u l a r , t h e i r focus on the "equal but d i f f erent" approach i s valuable for analyz ing why Canada, during the past two decades, has introduced s p e c i a l measures designed s p e c i f i c a l l y for immigrants. As we s h a l l see i n the fo l lowing chapters , p a r t l y due to the s ta te ' s recogni t ion of the "equal but d i f f e r e n t " approach, immigrants to Canada are now e n t i t l e d to p u b l i c serv ices that were not a v a i l a b l e 20 years ago. However, there i s some ambiguity i n Kymlicka's v i s i o n of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m over the question of how gender re la t e s to e t h n i c i t y and what the s tate can do about the mul t ip l e disadvantages of gender and e t h n i c i t y that immigrant women face i n Canada. While some c u l t u r a l values obvious ly oppress women, there i s no c l ear r u l e about what the s tate can or should do about them. I f some aspects of a cu l ture oppresses i t s female members, how can women become secure about t h e i r i d e n t i t i e s ? Kymlicka's theory does not o f f er c l e a r answers to these quest ions . 3. Conclus ion: Cracks between theories of feminism and m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m So f a r , we have seen the contr ibut ions and shortcomings of both theor ies of feminism and m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m when appl ied "to the issue of v io lence against immigrant women i n Canada. Feminist c r i t i c i s m of the p r i v a t e / p u b l i c dichotomy and t h e i r concept of f a l s e gender n e u t r a l i t y provide usefu l i n s i g h t s for the examination of why seemingly value neutra l immigration p o l i c i e s may i n fac t be male b iased . Feminist emphasis on the systematic nature of v io lence against women i s a l so usefu l for exp lor ing how immigrant women are made vulnerable to v io lence s y s t e m a t i c a l l y . However, i n feminism, immigrant women's issues are dea l t with i n the larger context of women as a whole. Although recent theories attempt to coordinate the i n t e r e s t s of d i f f e r e n t groups of women, there has as yet been no comprehensive framework for dea l ing with the i n t e r s e c t i o n of d i f f e r e n t forms of oppress ion. Theories of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , on the other hand, o f f er meaningful ways of examining why s p e c i a l measures aimed at he lp ing immigrants to overcome b a r r i e r s to t h e i r f u l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Canadian soc ie ty are compatible with the concept of e q u a l i t y . However, these theories f a i l to examine women's issues i n any great depth. O v e r a l l there seems to be l i t t l e coord inat ion between the two schools of thought. As a r e s u l t , immigrant women, as we s h a l l see i n the fo l lowing chapters , often f a l l in to the t h e o r e t i c a l vo id that l i e s between feminist and m u l t i c u l t u r a l theor ie s . I f we are to accept the existence of t h i s gap, we must f i n d a new approach to f i l l i t . What can the s tate do to reduce v io l ence against immigrant women? What t h e o r e t i c a l approach can bet ter e luc ida te the problem? The fo l lowing chapters w i l l show how the t h e o r e t i c a l abyss between feminist and m u l t i c u l t u r a l thought t rans la te s in to flawed state p o l i c i e s towards immigrant women. The main problem the s tate has i n dea l ing with immigrant women's issues seems to be that i t f a i l s to view immigrant women as a separate category from e i t h e r women or immigrants. Unless both schools view immigrant women as a separate group which needs serious a t t ent ion i n i t s own r i g h t , the state i s u n l i k e l y to d iscover how to end the oppression of immigrant women. Chapter ,2. Factors which Intens i fy Immigrant Women's V u l n e r a b i l i t y 27 Despite the s e v e r i t y of reported v io lence against immigrant women, few v i o l e n t inc idents against immigrant women are reported . There are no s t a t i s t i c s to show how many and to what degree immigrant women are abused, sexua l ly harassed, or raped. However, a number of recent studies have concluded that immigrant women are less l i k e l y than mainstream Canadian women to seek help outside the family when faced with v i o l e n c e . 8 5 Vio lence against immigrant women, these researchers presume, i s probably a wide-spread phenomenon, even i f there are no systematic s t a t i s t i c s to prove i t . They e x p l a i n that a complex of s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l s tructures that increase the i s o l a t i o n and v u l n e r a b i l i t y of immigrant women contr ibute to the problem. Despite the c u l t u r a l , l i n g u i s t i c and r a c i a l d i v e r s i t y of the immigrant popula t ion , immigrant women as a group share a common problem: they are made vulnerable by the Canadian p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l system. A number of s tudies have shown that many immigrant women share fee l ings of i s o l a t i o n , powerlessness and hopelessness. A survey done by A. Djao and R. Ng i n Saskatchewan, for example, shows that the f ee l ings of i s o l a t i o n are a r e s u l t of the s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n they f i n d themselves i n . They w r i t e : " i t i s not s imply a psycho log i ca l s tate of a f f a i r s or the r e s u l t of 'adjustment' (to a new l i f e i n Canada) pure and s imple ." 8 7 What happens, they e x p l a i n , i s that the women have been d i sp laced from the s o c i a l f a b r i c of t h e i r nat ive countries but are prevented i n various ways from p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n Canadian soc i e ty . Vio lence against immigrant women happens i n t h i s s o c i a l context. The ir experiences with v io lence are compounded "by language and c u l t u r a l b a r r i e r s , rac ism, separat ion from t h e i r o l d fr iends and 8 5 e.g., L. MacLeod & M. S h i n , A f r a i d and F o r g o t t e n : The S e r v i c e D e l i v e r y Needs and R e a l i t i e s of Immigrant and Refugee Women Who Are B a t t e r e d ; CPVAS, Changing the Landscape: Ending V i o l e n c e - A c h i e v i n g E g u a l i t y . 8 6 e.g., J . Anderson, " M i g r a t i o n and H e a l t h : P e r s p e c t i v e s on immigrant Women," i n B r i t i s h Columbia R e c o n s i d e r e d , eds., G. Creese and V. Strong-Boag, (Vancouver, B.C." Pr e s s Gang P u b l i s h e r s , 1992); A. Djao and R. Ng, " S t r u c t u r e d I s o l a t i o n : immigrant Women i n Saskatchewan, " i n Women-Isolation and Bonding: t he Ecology of Gender, 11-24; F. Moghaddam & D. T a y l o r , "Canadian M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m f o r V i s i b l e M i n o r i t y Women." A. Djao and R. Ng, " S t r u c t u r e d I s o l a t i o n : Immigrant Women i n Saskatchewan," 152. 28 00 f a m i l i e s . " 0 The ir problems are "magnified many times by the l o n e l i n e s s , strangeness and newness of t h e i r environment." 8 9 Although immigrant women's experiences with v io lence may be seen as a form of sexual oppression against women at l a r g e , there are s i g n i f i c a n t d i f ferences between the s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l context i n which immigrant women experience v io lence and the one i n which mainstream Canadian women experience i t . Likewise , immigrant women's experience with v io lence cannot be f u l l y understood i n the context of 'immigrant experiences' i n genera l . This chapter w i l l explore the nature of v io lence against immigrant women. There are several questions to be asked: why i s v io lence against immigrant women a p o l i t i c a l problem? What kinds of s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l b a r r i e r s i n t e n s i f y immigrant women's v u l n e r a b i l i t y , l ead ing to the widespread v io l ence against them? How are immigrant women's experiences i n Canada d i f f e r e n t from those of male immigrants? In order to answer these quest ions , t h i s chapter w i l l explore f i v e factors that increase immigrant women's v u l n e r a b i l i t y i n Canada; immigration laws and r e g u l a t i o n s , immigrant women's access to s o c i a l s e r v i c e s , racism/ethnocentrism, sexual ly and e t h n i c a l l y segregated job markets, and a lack of information on Canadian values and s o c i a l j u s t i c e systems. In conc lus ion , i t w i l l be argued that the s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l context i n which immigrant women experience v io lence i s both q u a n t i t a t i v e l y and q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t from the context a f f e c t i n g mainstream women. It w i l l be a l so argued that v io lence against immigrant women occurs i n a context i n which Canadian i n s t i t u t i o n s c o v e r t l y help to sus ta in d i s c r i m i n a t o r y p r a c t i c e s . 1. Immigration Laws and Regulat ions: The ir Impl icat ions for Women This sec t ion w i l l argue that despite the gender/ethnic neutra l language of immigration laws and regu la t ions , they c o v e r t l y sus ta in the s e x i s t / e t h n o c e n t r i c views of Canadian soc ie ty and place immigrant women i n a l e g a l l y vulnerable p o s i t i o n . In 1991, 4,342,890 people i n Canada were immigrants and 2,212,895, L. MacLeod & M. S h i n , A f r a i d and F o r g o t t e n : The S e r v i c e D e l i v e r y Needs and R e a l i t i e s of Immigrant and Refugee Women Who Are B a t t e r e d , 7. 8 9 I b i d . 29 about h a l f , were female. 9" The immigrant populat ion amounted of about 16% of the t o t a l Canadian p o p u l a t i o n . 9 1 Almost h a l f (48 %) of immigrants who came to Canada between 1981 and 1991 were from As ian countr i e s . The re s t breaks down as fo l lows: 25 % were from Europe, 19% from the Centra l and South America, 6% from Caribbean, 6% from A f r i c a , and 4% from the U S . 9 2 According to Canadian immigration laws and regu la t ions , there are s i x types of immigrant s tatus: independent a p p l i c a n t , family member c l a s s , a s s i s t e d r e l a t i v e s c l a s s , business c lass a p p l i c a n t , refugee, and temporary permit ho lder . Independent appl icants are assessed by the "point system," i n which t h e i r e l i g i b i l i t y to enter Canada i s assessed by such fac tors as educat ion, job experience, employab i l i t y , age, a b i l i t y i n E n g l i s h and/or French, and job demands i n Canada. Family c lass members are sponsored by a Canadian c i t i z e n or a permanent res ident up to 5 years a f t er t h e i r a r r i v a l at Canada. Spouses, f iances , unmarried c h i l d r e n , i n c e r t a i n circumstances parents , grandparents, brothers and s i s t e r s , can sponsor an- a p p l i c a n t . A sponsor i s o b l i g e d , by law, to provide lodg ing , care and maintenance for the family c lass r e l a t i v e . A s s i s t e d r e l a t i v e s are those who do not q u a l i f y as family c lass immigrants, and may not q u a l i f y as independent immigrants, but enter Canada on the grounds that they are ' a s s i s t e d ' by a Canadian c i t i z e n or a permanent re s ident . They are not u s u a l l y immediate family members, but tend tO' be uncles and aunts or i n certain- circumstances-brothers and s i s t e r s . Their e l i g i b i l i t y to enter Canada i s a l so assessed by the "point system," but the po ints requ ired for them to be e l i g i b l e need not be as high as for independent a p p l i c a n t s . Business c lass appl i cants are granted t h e i r landed immigrant status on the basis of i n t e n t i o n and a b i l i t y to e s t a b l i s h an enterpr i se or to make a s u b s t a n t i a l investment i n a business i n Canada. They are a l so assessed by t h e i r pos s ib l e c o n t r i b u t i o n to the Canadian economy by c r e a t i n g business opportuni t i es for Canadian people. By r e g u l a t i o n , they are required to h i r e one or more Canadian c i t i z e n s or permanent res idents i n t h e i r venture and to engaged a c t i v e l y i n the management of t h e i r business . 90 S t a t i s t i c s Canada, Immigration and C i t i z e n s h i p , (Ottawa: Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1992), 1. 9 1 I b i d . 9 2 I b i d . Refugee status i s granted to those i n d i v i d u a l s who f i t the United Nations' d e f i n i t i o n of "the conventional re fugee ," 9 3 and are therefore assessed on the basis of "well-founded fear of being prosecuted," but are not assessed by the point system. Temporary permit holders inc lude those who enter Canada with a student v i s a , v i s i t o r s ' v i s a , or a temporary work permit . Persons whose a p p l i c a t i o n for permanent res idency status i s being processed are a l so allowed to stay i n Canada u n t i l t h e i r cases are processed. Nearly two t h i r d s of female immigrants enter Canada as a 'dependent' and most of them are sponsored by t h e i r husbands. 9 4 Independent appl i cants account for about o n e - t h i r d of the t o t a l female immigrants. 9 5 In 1991, 223,400 were temporary permit ho lders , which represents less than 1 % of Canada's p o p u l a t i o n . 9 6 Although immigration laws and regulat ions are t h e o r e t i c a l l y gender/ethnic n e u t r a l , they i m p l i c i t l y r e f l e c t sexism and racism. F i r s t l y , s t a t i s t i c s reveal that 'independent' female immigrants tend to concentrate i n low-paying sex-typed Q7 occupations, such as s e r v i c e , c l e r i c a l , heal th and product f a b r i c a t i o n jobs . The po int system tends to neglect the r e a l market value of immigrant women who enter Canada as wives of independent a p p l i c a n t s . Because the "single head p o l i c y " usua l ly grants the independent status to only one family member—mostly the husband, Ng argues, the work experience and educat ional background of women are not s e r i o u s l y assessed by immigration a u t h o r i t i e s . By not assess ing immigrant women's employab i l i t y , Ng w r i t e s , the "single head p o l i c y " underestimates t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n to the Canadian economy. y j The U n i t e d N a t i o n s Convention and P r o t o c o l r e l a t i n g t o the S t a t u s of Refugees i n 1951 d e f i n e d a refuge e as person who, "owing t o we l l - f o u n d e d f e a r of be i n g p e r s e c u t e d f o r reasons of r a c e , r e l i g i o n s , n a t i o n a l i t y , membership o f a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l group or p o l i t i c a l o p i n i o n , i n o u t s i d e t h e c o u n t r y o f h i s n a t i o n a l i t y and i s unable o r , owing t o such f e a r , i s u n w i l l i n g t o a v a i l h i m s e l f of the p r o t e c t i o n of t h a t c o u n t r y ; or who, not having a n a t i o n a l i t y and b e i n g o u t s i d e the c o u n t r y o f t h i s former h a b i t u a l r e s i d e n c e as a r e s u l t of such e v e n t s , i s unable o r , owing t o such f e a r , i s u n w i l l i n g t o r e t u r n t o i t . " 9 4 A. E s t a b l e , Immigrant Women i n Canada, 11. 9 5 I b i d . 9 6 S t a t i s t i c s Canada, Immigration and C i t i z e n s h i p , (Ottawa: Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1992), 1. " A. E s t a b l e , Immigrant Women i n Canada, 11. R. Ng, "Immigrant Women and I n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d Racism," 187. 31 In r e a l i t y , immigrant women's p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the Canadian job market i s h igh , exceeding that of Canadian-born women, and continues to grow." In 1985, for example, immigrant women's labour- force p a r t i c i p a t i o n was 55.6%, while that of Canadian-born women was 52.1%.*"" The percentage of p a r t i c i p a t i o n was even higher for Caribbean women (69.4%) and Southeast As ian women (68%). 1 0 1 The high l e v e l of job market p a r t i c i p a t i o n i s not r e s t r i c t e d to recent ly a r r i v e d immigrants. A number of s tudies show that the longer immigrant women are i n Canada, the more l i k e l y they are to work. The high l e v e l of immigrant women's job p a r t i c i p a t i o n proves that they are p o t e n t i a l l y 'employable, ' even i f they are usua l ly confined to low-wage jobs . Moreover, s t a t i s t i c s show that immigrant women are genera l ly bet ter educated than e i t h e r nat ive -born women or men. Immigrant women from western Europe, A s i a , and the Middle East , together with • those from the US and UK, tend to have higher educat ional attainments, than immigrants from other regions and both male and female Canadian-born c i t i z e n s . Women from the P h i l i p p i n e s have the highest l e v e l s of education; 38% have 1(11 u n i v e r s i t y t r a i n i n g . This information seems s u f f i c i e n t to back the fo l lowing conc lus ion: i t i s not because immigrant women, as a group, are not educated or do not have job q u a l i f i c a t i o n s that they are kept at the lowest status i n Canadian job market. Women's a b i l i t i e s are being ignored dur ing the assessment process , even i f these women may be as 'employable' as t h e i r husbands. Because only one person i s assessed by the po int system, wives of independent appl i cants often f i n d themselves becoming "sponsored immigrants" rather then they themselves becoming independent a p p l i c a n t s . Expected changes i n immigration p o l i c y may further weaken immigrant women's p o s i t i o n compared to immigrant men. In November 1994, M i n i s t e r of C i t i z e n s h i p and Immigration Sergio Marchi proposed changes i n immigration p o l i c y a f ter 1995. A. E s t a b l e , Immigrant Women i n Canada, 18. 1 0 0 I b i d . 1 0 1 I b i d . , 19. ^ I b i d , 18; 8. Boyd, "The S t a t u s of Immigrant Women i n Canada," i n Women i n Canada, ed., M. Stephenson, ( O n t a r i o : General P u b l i s h i n g Co., 1973),228. 1 n i u A. E s t a b l e , Immigrant Women i n Canada, 22. 32 According to the proposa l , Canada would l i m i t the number of new immigrants to about 200,000 i n 1995, down from the 230,000 projec ted for 1994. 1 0 4 In order to pursue t h i s goa l , Canada would cut the number of sponsored immigrants. Furthermore the proposal suggests that Canada would require a bond from a sponsor to ensure that sponsored immigrants w i l l not use s o c i a l ass i s tance . So f a r , the p r o v i s i o n that would l i m i t the number of sponsored immigrants has been c r i t i c i z e d by the Nat ional Ac t ion Committee on the Status of Women (NAC). The NAC noted that the p r o v i s i o n "negatively impacts women," because women mostly enter Canada under family c lass categories. 1 "^ Secondly, "sponsored immigrants" are placed i n a l e g a l l y b inding r e l a t i o n of economic dependence with the sponsor. Because the ' s i n g l e head' p o l i c y often grants only one member of the fami ly—usua l ly the husband—access to s o c i a l s e r v i c e s , immigrant women are sys temat i ca l ly denied access to l e g a l a i d , income ass i s tance , subs id ized housing and other s o c i a l s e r v i c e s . An under ly ing assumption which supports t h i s p o l i c y i s that sponsored immigrants do not need to have access to s o c i a l serv ices because they are , by law, f i n a n c i a l l y dependent on by t h e i r husbands, or breadwinners. Although by regu la t ion both male and female immigrants could be sponsored by t h e i r family members, female sponsored immigrants experience greater hardship because of the l e g a l l y b inding economic dependence of sponsorship: i t i s not only because the major i ty of such "sponsored immigrants" are female, but a lso because female immigrants are faced with the •sexist r e a l i t y of the Canadian job market, and are less l i k e l y to advance i n the job h ierarchy than t h e i r male counterparts . ^ Female immigrants, e s p e c i a l l y those with c h i l d r e n , are therefore more s e r i o u s l y af fected by l i m i t e d access to p u b l i c s e r v i c e s . The "single head p o l i c y " , combined with sponsorship r e l a t i o n s h i p s , has been widely c r i t i c i z e d by immigrant women and f emin i s t s , e s p e c i a l l y because i t l i m i t e d m C. Fransworth, "Canada A c t s To T i g h t e n Immigration," i n the New York Times, (6 November, 1994): Y5. 1 0 5 I b i d . ^ I n f a c t , women comprise 67$ of s i n g l e low-income e a r n e r s , and were the heads of more than o n e - t h i r d of low-income f a m i l i e s . For more see N a t i o n a l A c t i o n Committee on the S t a t u s of Women (NAC), "The P e r s i s t e n c e of I n e q u a l i t y , " i n The Other Macdonald Report, eds., D. Drache and D. Cameron, (Toronto: Mames Lormer, 1985), 98. 33 access for sponsored immigrants (mostly female) to government-sponsored language or job t r a i n i n g . For example, p r i o r to 1992, the f edera l government provided up to a year of f u l l - t i m e language t r a i n i n g , employment t r a i n i n g , and subs id ized housing for immigrant households under the 'independent' and 'refugee' ca tegor ies . The household head obtained an allowance while taking a program. Because the husband was u s u a l l y the head of the f a m i l y , women were denied access to these resources . As a r e s u l t , 'dependent' women had to pay for t h e i r educat ion. Ng describes t h i s system as being one of " i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d 107 d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . " u Because language p r o f i c i e n c y and job-experience are e s s e n t i a l for career advancement, Ng argues, a lack of access to these va luable t r a i n i n g resources increases women's dependency on t h e i r husbands. Because of the s ing le head p o l i c y , Ng notes , sponsored immigrant women, who cons t i tu ted almost two-thirds of immigrant women, were denied access to these s e r v i c e s . Faced with such t h i s problem, the federa l government i n 1992 introduced a new program c a l l e d 1Of! Language I n s t r u c t i o n for Newcomers to Canada (LINC). 0 The LINC i s aimed at prov id ing bas ic or ' s u r v i v a l ' Eng l i sh t r a i n i n g to newcomers to Canada. I t expanded e l i g i b i l i t y for government funded language t r a i n i n g from one member of each immigrant family to a l l permanent res idents with l i t t l e or no knowledge of Eng l i sh or French. The i n t r o d u c t i o n of the LINC can be seen as a move to e l iminate d i s c r i m i n a t i o n on the bas is of sponsorship status and i t should expand immigrant women's opportuni t i e s to l e a r n French and E n g l i s h . However, a shortage of c h i l d care and the absence of an allowance while taking the t r a i n i n g remain b a r r i e r s to women's enrolment i n such c lasses . 1 " 9 By r e g u l a t i o n , sponsored immigrants can apply for s o c i a l ass i s tance i f t h e i r sponsorship breaks down. Because of the pressures from women's organ iza t ions , the immigration a u t h o r i t i e s have made i t c l ear that the breakdown of sponsorship by i t s e l f does not lead to deporta t ion . Employment and Immigration 107 R. Ng, "Immigrant Women and I n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d Racism," 118. 108 T h i s i n f o r m a t i o n was o b t a i n e d through pamphlets p r o v i d e d by the B.C. government. 109 The s i t u a t i o n s may be much harder f o r poorer immigrant f a m i l i e s . S i n c e the LINC c u t o f f the t r a i n i n g a llowance t o anybody, p r e v i o u s l y awarded f o r the f a m i l y head, some f a m i l i e s even i f they are e l i g i b l e f o r the program may not be a b l e t o a f f o r d sending e i t h e r husbands or wives t o the program. 34 Canada (EIC) , for example, s tated i n i t s p u b l i c a t i o n : "Your s tatus i s your own. This i s of p a r t i c u l a r importance to women. Neither your spouse, nor your employer nor your sponsor can have you deported." ^" Deportat ion orders can only be issued a f t er a hearing to determine whether a person has v i o l a t e d immigration law, for example by having a f a l s e passport or being convicted under the C r i m i n a l Code with a sentence of more than s ix months of imprisonment. Leaving a spouse i s i n s u f f i c i e n t grounds for deporta t ion , nor i s the withdrawal of sponsorship. Because of a lack of in format ion , however, most women do not know about these r e g u l a t i o n s . 1 1 1 Abusive husbands often threaten t h e i r wives by saying t h e i r wives w i l l be deported i f they report v io lence to the p o l i c e or sue for a d ivorce . The threat of deportat ion often makes i t harder for immigrant women to leave t h e i r abusive husbands. The fear of deportat ion i s f e l t more severe ly by female app l i cants whose immigration a p p l i c a t i o n s are being processed. Because appl icants do not yet hold landed immigrant s ta tus , they are not able to work l e g a l l y . Female appl i cants are not e l i g i b l e for s o c i a l s e r v i c e s , even i f they decide to leave an abusive r e l a t i o n s h i p . Their sponsor can u s u a l l y cause the immigration a u t h o r i t y to discont inue process ing the a p p l i c a t i o n and r e j e c t i t simply by withdrawing the 111 sponsorship any time before the immigrant v i s a i s i s sued . The d i s cont inuat ion of process ing may mean deporta t ion . T h i r d l y , female refugee claimants face extra s t r a i n s . Although a refugee claimant may be awarded permanent residence i n the case of abuse i f the immigration a u t h o r i t i e s f i n d " s u f f i c i e n t humanitarian and compassionate reasons 1 I 0 to do so," the admission of female appl icants under such condit ions i s r a r e . J Consider ing the l i f e threatening p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n s i n t h e i r home countr i e s , they have nowhere to escape once they leave t h e i r husbands. U n t i l qui te r e c e n t l y , they were not allowed to work while wai t ing for t h e i r refugee s ta tus . The 1 1 0 EIC, A Newcomer's Guide t o Canada, (Ottawa: Supply and S e r v i c e s Canada, 1993), 33. 1 1 1 CPVAW, Changing Landscape: Ending V i o l e n c e - A c h i e v i n g E q u a l i t y , 92. 11? K. Wiebe, V i o l e n c e A g a i n s t Immigrant Women and C h i l d r e n , 48. 113 Department of J u s t i c e , Response t o the Recommendation from the Symposium at Vancouver, B.C., June 10-12, 1991, v o l . I I I . , (Ottawa: Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1993), 16. C i t i z e n s h i p and Immigration Canada (CIC), a f edera l department c u r r e n t l y respons ible for immigration p o l i c i e s , i n January 1994 changed i t s p o l i c y to al lov refugee claimants to work while wai t ing for t h e i r claims to be p r o c e s s e d . 1 1 4 Although the change should a l l e v i a t e the f i n a n c i a l burdens of refugee c la imants , Canadian economic r e a l i t y , uncerta inty about t h e i r f u t u r e , and systematic d i s c r i m i n a t i o n against them i n job markets mean that they are s t i l l l i k e l y to have d i f f i c u l t i e s i n f i n d i n g a job i n Canada. In a d d i t i o n , Canadian refugee p o l i c i e s have not t r a d i t i o n a l l y recognized gender-based oppression as grounds for grant ing refugee s ta tus , even though v io lence against women has l i f e and death impl i ca t ions i n some c o u n t r i e s . Examples of c u l t u r a l norms that humil iate women have been discussed i n Chapter 1. In a d d i t i o n , women are often v i c t i m i z e d by p o l i t i c a l c r i s e s i n t h e i r home countr i e s . Torture and i l l - t r e a t m e n t of women i n p r i s o n i s a common threat i n many countr ies with p o l i t i c a l i n s t a b i l i t y . 1 1 5 Despite the s u f f e r i n g of these women, u n t i l very r e c e n t l y , sexual d i s c r i m i n a t i o n and sexual abuse had not been considered a "well-founded fear" required for e l i g i b i l i t y for refugee s ta tus . There has been some movement to recognize women's persecut ion based on gender i n the d e f i n i t i o n of refugee s ta tus . Since the 1951 UN Convention and i t s protoco l s d i d not adequately protect female refugees, the Women at Risk Program was es tab l i shed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) i n response to the need for s p e c i a l p r o t e c t i o n and resettlement for women at r i s k . In 1985, the UNHCR Executive Committee supported a recommendation to inc lude gender as an e x p l i c i t c r i t e r i o n for refugee s ta tus , but implementation was l e f t to the d i s c r e t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l s ta tes . Canada has p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the program s ince 1988. In 1990, Canada changed refugee regulat ions and s p e l l e d out two categories of refugees e l i g i b l e under the program. They are women who " w i l l be i n precar ious s i t u a t i o n s where the l o c a l 11* CIC, "Changes t o the Fees Charged f o r Immigration S e r v i c e s and Changes t o the Adjustment A s s i s t a n c e programs," i n Statement by M i n i s t e r of CIC S e r g i o M a r c h i j J H A p r i l , 1994): 5. 1 1 5 Recent media a t t e n t i o n on Bo s n i a "rape camps" i l l u s t r a t e t h i s . In 10 S e r b i a n rape camps i n Bo s n i a d u r i n g the p e r i o d from A p r i l 1992 t o December 1992, S e r b i a n s o l d i e r s were e s t i m a t e d t o have raped a t l e a s t 14,000 and as many as 30,000 Muslim and Croa t women. In December 1992, a t l e a s t 53 women got pregnant as a r e s u l t of rape. Many are too a f r a i d and ashamed t o r e p o r t . See, R. Beeston, "A H a t e f u l Burden, " The Times, (17 December, 1992). 36 a u t h o r i t i e s cannot ensure safety" and "who are not under immediate p e r i l but who are e x i s t i n g i n permanently unstable circumstances which al low for no other remedy." 1 1 6 In 1991, 61 women were admitted to Canada under t h i s p r o g r a m . 1 1 7 Furthermore, a gu ide l ine i ssued by the Chairperson Pursuant to s ec t ion 65 (3) of the Immigration Act for Women Refugee Claimants Fear ing Gender Related Persecut ion , re leased by the Immigration and Refugee Board on March 9, 1993 s tates that : i t has been more widely recognized that gender-re lated persecut ion i s a form of persecut ion which can arid should be assessed by the Refugee D i v i s i o n panel hearing the c la im. ° In 1994, Canada granted refugee status to a Somali woman who f l e d her country with her daughter because she feared that the daughter would face r i t u a l g e n i t a l 110 m u t i l a t i o n . A panel of the Immigration and Refugee board sa id the daughter's "r ight to personal s e c u r i t y would be gross ly in f r inged" i f she were forced to 1 ?fl r e t u r n . l i W Canada i s be l i eved to be the f i r s t country to grant refugee status on i i i the grounds of a "well-founded fear" of female g e n i t a l m u t i l a t i o n . Despite Canada's r e l a t i v e l y progress ive p o l i c y as i l l u s t r a t e d i n the admission of the Somali woman, most female refugees who experience v io lence i n t h e i r home countr ies need much more help than Canada c u r r e n t l y o f f e r s . S p e c i a l i z e d counse l l ing for such women i s u s u a l l y not p u b l i c l y - f u n d e d , and, there fore , not access ib le to them. F o u r t h l y , immigration regulat ions are d i s cr imina tory against immigrant women through the ru les for temporary work permit ho lders , e s p e c i a l l y for domestic workers. As a r e s u l t of u n f a i r regulat ions which -wi l l be explained l a t e r i n t h i s s e c t i o n , as wel l as harsh working cond i t ions , domestic workers are 1 1 6 CPVAW, Changing the Landscape: Ending V i o l e n c e - A c h i e v i n g E g u a l i t y . 88. 1 1 7 I b i d . 11R " v I i s f f i i g r a t i o n and Refugee Board, Women Refugee C l a i m a n t s F e a r i n g Gender-Related p e r s e c u t i o n , (Ottawa: Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1993), 12. 1 1 9 C. Farnsworth, "Canada Gives A Somali Refugee From G e n i t a l R i t e , " New York Times, ( 21 J u l y , 1994), A4. 1 2 0 I b i d . 1 2 1 I b i d . 37 vulnerable to economic, p s y c h o l o g i c a l , sexual and p h y s i c a l abuse, i n s u l t s , i n t i m i d a t i o n and e x p l o i t a t i o n both from male and female employers. Many workers have been p h y s i c a l l y abused, sexual ly harassed, sexual ly assaulted and raped by 177 t h e i r male employers. Sometimes, employers' c h i l d r e n or even f r i ends abuse 123 them. They are often unable to seek help because of t h e i r l e g a l o b l i g a t i o n to l i v e i n t h e i r workplace. EIC records i n d i c a t e that i n the l a s t decade, more than 80,000 people , 97 percent of whom are women, entered Canada as fore ign domestic workers. Most are women of c o l o u r . 1 2 4 These women entered Canada through the L i v e - i n Care g iver Program (LICG), which came in to e f fec t s i n A p r i l 1992 or the Domestic Movement (FDM) Program, which was i n e f fec t from 1981 to March 1992. According to these regu la t ions , a domestic worker i s subject to a two-year contract that requires l i v e - i n o b l i g a t i o n and she must get approval from the immigration department i f she wishes to change jobs . She i s expected to convince the immigration au thor i ty that she has a v a l i d reason for l eav ing . For most domestic workers i t . i s an extremely i n t i m i d a t i n g process which they hes i ta te to. pursue because most workers are supporting t h e i r family i n t h e i r home countr i e s . For them, l o s i n g a job may mean l o s i n g t h e i r work permit and t h e i r r i g h t to stay Canada, or l o s i n g t h e i r chance to support t h e i r f a m i l i e s back home. Some women fear that immigration o f f i c i a l s would not be l i eve what they say. Bes ides , there i s no guarantee for a domestic worker that her next employer w i l l be bet ter than the current one, because the immigration au thor i ty has no power to act. against employers who breach t h e i r contrac t s . These program have l ed to e x p l o i t i v e working cond i t i ons . Under the FDM, condit ions for a fore ign domestic worker to q u a l i f y for permanent res idence inc luded the fo l lowing: she must have a good work record for two years , must upgrade her s k i l l s , must do some volunteer work, and must prove her f i n a n c i a l s e l f s u f f i c i e n c y . Considering the fact that most workers are working more than 10 hours a day, the c r i t e r i o n for volunteer work seemed almost impossible to meet. 122 CPVAW, Changing Landscape: Ending V i o l e n c e - A c h i e v i n g E q u a l i t y . 90. 1 2 3 I b i d . 1 2 4 I b i d . , 86. 38 These regulat ions for domestic workers placed them i n a s i t u a t i o n that Canadian c i t i z e n s would f i n d i n t o l e r a b l e . 1 2 5 Although these requirements were removed i n 1993, working condit ions of fore ign domestic workers are yet to be improved. They often work 70 hours a week at a rate below the minimum wage, with no pay for extended hours. 1 0 Regulations i n employment standard l e g i s l a t i o n i n some provinces and t e r r i t o r i e s s p e c i f i c a l l y exempt domestic workers, who are mainly minor i ty and immigrant women, from the p r o t e c t i o n that other Canadian workers enjoy—such as overtime pay. Besides , some employers pre fer to have domestics be locked in to a two-year contract and an u n f a i r employment s i t u a t i o n that includes unpaid overtime work. Due to the pressure from domestic workers, the government of Ontario r e c e n t l y changed i t s labour l e g i s l a t i o n and fore ign domestic workers are now e n t i t l e d to the p r o t e c t i o n of over-time payment. In B . C . , however, they are s t i l l excluded from such a p r o t e c t i o n . The government of B . C . i s expected to announce changes i n March 1995, but the content of changes i s not known yet . Apart from the s i x l e g a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s of immigrant women, there i s one more group that exh ib i t s a d i s t i n c t character: they are m a i l - o r d e r - b r i d e s who are o f f i c i a l l y 'shipped' to Canada as wives of Canadian men. Most of them enter Canada as sponsored immigrants. Some of these women may be minors, who are l e g a l l y married to Canadians and are granted permanent res ident s ta tus . By a l lowing admission of minors as married spouses, Canada i s c o n t r a d i c t i n g i t s own laws: i t i s i l l e g a l for a Canadian man to marry a Canadian-born 13-year-o ld but 127 the same person can marry a 13-year o ld i f she i s fore ign b o r n . " Such women are extremely vulnerable to v i o l e n c e , because of world-wide i n e q u a l i t i e s both between the poor and the r i c h and between women and men. Canada i s p a r t l y respons ible for t h e i r v u l n e r a b i l i t y because i t accepts the admittance of minors as the spouses of Canadian men. According to a newspaper r e p o r t , a 13-year-o ld g i r l from the Dominican 1 2 5 I b i d . , 132. 1 2 6 S. Razak, Canadian Feminism and the Law: The Women's Le g a l E d u c a t i o n and A c t i o n Fund and the P u r s u i t of E g u a l i t y , (Toronto: Second S t o r y P r e s s , 1991), 131. 1 2 7 S. Schwartz, " R u l i n g R a i s e s Fear More Canadian Men W i l l Seek C h i l d B r i d e s , " The Vancouver Sun, 19 May, 1994. 39 Republic was ' l e g a l l y ' shipped to Canada as a wife of a Canadian man, as a r e s u l t of the man's quest for "a young v i r g i n " i n the c o u n t r y . 1 2 8 A month a f t er she entered Canada, one year a f t er she married the husband, the g i r l sought help and was accommodated i n a she l t er i n Montrea l . In May 1994, the 50 year o ld husband, accused of a s s a u l t i n g the g i r l , was a c q u i t t e d . Quebec Court Judge Joe l Guberman noted that the court could not be c e r t a i n "beyond a reasonable doubt" of the t ru th of her a l l e g a t i o n s that her husband had assaulted her s exua l ly , confined her and ut tered death threats against h e r . 1 2 9 C u r r e n t l y , no sec t ion of Canadian immigration laws and regulat ions p r o h i b i t the government from grant ing landed immigrant status to a br ide even i f she i s younger than the Canadian l e g a l marrying age. In a interv iew with a newspaper, Roger White, a representat ive of the federa l immigration department, was quoted as say ing , the landed immigrant status i s accorded, as long as an a p p l i c a n t ' s country i s convinced that a marriage i s bona f i d e , and Canadian a u t h o r i t i e s are convinced that a sponsor w i l l 1 on uphold his f i n a n c i a l o b l i g a t i o n s . In sum, immigration laws and regulat ions make i t d i f f i c u l t for immigrant women to gain t h e i r independence from men-- the ir husbands, t h e i r employers, and others . These laws condone c e r t a i n sex i s t and r a c i s t va lues . F i r s t l y , the s i n g l e head p o l i c y ignores economic contr ibut ions of wives of 'independent' appl icants and increases t h e i r l ega l dependence on t h e i r husbands. Secondly, the sponsorship r e l a t i o n s h i p does not r e f l e c t the r e a l i t y of immigrant women i n job markets, while i t i n t e n s i f i e s t h e i r fears of deporta t ion . T h i r d l y , the government does not r e a l i z e the s p e c i a l need of female refugees who experience v io l ence i n t h e i r home countr i e s . F o u r t h l y , regulat ions for temporary workers, e s p e c i a l l y domestic workers who are mostly fore ign born women of c o l o r , contain double standards. In p a r t i c u l a r , t h e i r ob l i ga t ions to provide " l i v e - i n " serv ices and to report to the a u t h o r i t i e s when they intend to change jobs d r a s t i c a l l y d i s t i n g u i s h t h e i r s i t u a t i o n from Canadian workers. F i n a l l y , the admittance of m a i l - o r d e r - b r i d e s who are below the Canadian l e g a l marrying age c l e a r l y ind ica te s a b i a s . The 1 2 8 I b i d . 1 2 5 I b i d . 1 3 0 I b i d . 40 government's to lerance of these problems can be seen as de-facto support of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . 2. A Lack Of Information On Women's Rights The second factor that increases immigrant women's v u l n e r a b i l i t y i s t h e i r lack of knowledge about women's r i g h t s and women's support serv ices i n Canada. In add i t i on to gender/ethnic biased immigration laws and r e g u l a t i o n s , the s o c i a l environment immigrant women face i s an inhosp i tab le one that often i n t e n s i f i e s the i s o l a t i o n of immigrant women from the res t of the Canadian popula t ion . By the very act of coming here, they are deprived of the s o c i a l connections and career they had i n t h e i r home countr ie s . They are i s o l a t e d from Canadian soc ie ty because of language d e f i c i e n c i e s and/or c u l t u r a l / r e l i g i o u s d i f f e r e n c e s . Almost two-thirds of immigrant women don't speak e i ther Eng l i sh or F r e n c h . 1 3 1 Despite the d i f f i c u l t i e s that immigrant women face a f ter enter ing Canada, they are not given adequate information about t h e i r l e g a l s ta tus , r i g h t s and ob l iga t ions i n t h e i r own language before they come to C a n a d a . 1 3 2 A f t e r immigration, l i n g u i s t i c d i f f i c u l t i e s continue to make i t extremely d i f f i c u l t for them to get accurate in format ion . The government's f a i l u r e to provide immigrant women with s u f f i c i e n t information has been widely c r i t i c i z e d by feminis t and immigrant women's organizat ions over the past decade. Due to these pressures , the federa l government s ince 1990 has created information k i t s , both wr i t t en and a u d i o - v i s u a l , for newcomers to Canada. These inc lude such p u b l i c a t i o n s as A New Comer's Guide to Canada and Get t ing Started i n Canada. However, due to a lack of adequate means of d i s t r i b u t i n g these mater ia l s and a lack of adequate government-sponsored o r i e n t a t i o n programs, most immigrant women are s t i l l not ge t t ing s u f f i c i e n t information on t h e i r r i g h t s . The lack of information l i m i t s immigrant women's options when they face v i o l e n c e : a battered wife may not know that wife b a t t e r i n g i s a c r i m i n a l act i n Canada; she may fear that she w i l l be deported i f she report the v io lence to the p o l i c e ; she may not know that community help i s a v a i l a b l e to her; she may not know about the existence of 131 R. Pendadur; B. Ledoux, Immigrants Unable to Speak E n g l i s h or French: A g r a p h i c Overview. (Ottawa: M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m and C i t i z e n s h i p , P o l i c y and Research m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m S e c t o r , 1991), 40. 1 v A. E s t a b l e , Immigrant Women i n Canada, 11. 41 government-funded voca t iona l t r a i n i n g so that she can become f i n a n c i a l l y s e l f -s u f f i c i e n t ; and she may conclude that she has to put up with the v io lence i f she and her c h i l d r e n want to survive i n Canada. Not only does the lack of information l i m i t immigrant women's opt ions , i t a l so l i m i t s the a b i l i t y of immigrant men to l earn about the Canadian l e g a l system and s o c i a l values on women's r i g h t s . As mentioned e a r l i e r , i n some countr i e s , c u l t u r a l values that support male domination over women are widely accepted as norms or laws. While these values apparently contrad ic t Canadian standards, immigrant men, as wel l as immigrant women, are denied access to knowledge of a l t e r n a t i v e va lues . There has not been much study on how the lack of information about women's r ight s a f fec t s male behaviour towards women. However, the fac t that immigrant men do not have the opportunity to l earn Canadian standards reduces the p o s s i b i l i t y that immigrant men w i l l v o l u n t a r i l y r e l i n q u i s h r e l i g i o u s or c u l t u r a l b e l i e f s that oppress women i n order to br ing e q u a l i t y to t h e i r female par tners . Despite the existence of such norms, c u r r e n t l y there i s no o f f i c i a l o r i e n t a t i o n program for a l l immigrants. The federa l government and some p r o v i n c i a l governments provide information through various organ iza t ions , but these organizat ions are inadequately funded. For example, the Community A i r p o r t Newcomers Network, funded by a Chinese immigrant soc ie ty c a l l e d the United Chinese Enrichment Service Soc ie ty , has been p r o v i d i n g an o r i e n t a t i o n program for a l l immigrants a r r i v i n g at the Vancouver In ternat iona l A i r p o r t s ince October 1992. A 5-to-15-minute o r i e n t a t i o n provides information on immigrants' immediate concerns, such as immigration procedures, s o c i a l bene f i t s , medical care , and education for t h e i r c h i l d r e n . A b i l i n g u a l or m u l t i - l i n g u a l s t a f f i s a v a i l a b l e to i n t e r p r e t the information in to many d i f f e r e n t languages. A worker estimated that t h e i r serv ices cover about 80 % of a l l immigrants who a r r i v e at Vancouver In ternat iona l A i r p o r t , which receives approximately AO,000 to 45,000 immigrants every year . Such i n i t i a t i v e i s h i g h l y appreciated by most immigrants. However, cons ider ing the fac t that a s t a f f of only 9 attends as many as 32,00 to 36,000 immigrants annual ly , the information given to immigrants I n f o r m a t i o n about the Community A i r p o r t Newcomers Network was o b t a i n e d through an i n t e r v i e w w i t h a worker. 42 i s very l i m i t e d . Unfortunate ly , the issue of women's r i g h t s i s often omitted from th i s o r i e n t a t i o n . There i s simply no time to deal with t h i s i s sue . A s i m i l a r o r i e n t a t i o n program for immigrants i s provided at Toronto's a i r p o r t . But, the extent to which immigrant women gain knowledge of t h e i r r ight s i s a l so very l i m i t e d for s i m i l a r r e a s o n s . 1 3 4 As was mentioned, a number of studies have found that immigrant women are l e ss l i k e l y than Canadian born women to seek help outside the family when they experience v i o l e n c e . However, i t i s u n f a i r to conclude that immigrant women do not seek help because they do not want to . T y p i c a l l y , they do not know what i s a v a i l a b l e to them or that seeking help w i l l not r e s u l t i n a deportat ion order against them. In f a c t , a study i n Vancouver found that 34% of immigrant women who did not seek community help sa id they were unaware of the re levant a g e n c i e s . 1 3 5 They outnumbered those who answered they "did not need help (31%). Furthermore, the same study found that 50% of immigrant women, when they were asked whether they would use the serv ices of agencies i f needed, answered 'ye s . ' 1 3 6 Although t h i s study was not p a r t i c u l a r l y designed to examine the issue of v i o l e n c e , i t shows that large percentages of immigrant women d i d not seek help because they were unaware of i t s a v a i l a b i l i t y . In sum, despite the p o s s i b i l i t y that large percentages of immigrant women may seek help i f they are aware of i t s a v a i l a b i l i t y , there i s no o f f i c i a l o r i e n t a t i o n for immigrants to l earn Canadian values of e q u a l i t y between men and women. 3. A Limited Access To S o c i a l Services Even i f women are aware of a v a i l a b l e s e r v i c e s , most mainstream agencies do not meet the s p e c i a l needs of immigrant women. A lack of s o c i a l serv ices that meet the needs of immigrant women const i tutes the t h i r d fac tor that i n t e n s i f i e s t h e i r v u l n e r a b i l i t y to v io l ence : because they do not have access to adequate s e r v i c e s , they are often l e f t alone with v i o l e n c e . Despite the d i v e r s i t y of immigrants women's needs, few mainstream h e a l t h , l e g a l or s o c i a l s erv i ce agencies 1 3 4 I b i d . 135 L. Bhagavatula, A Study of Immigrant Women i n Vancouver: Tread S o f t l y Because You Tread On MY Dreams. (Vancouver, B.C.: Vancouver S o c i e t y On immigrant Women, 1989), 42. 1 3 6 I b i d . 43 have programs or serv ices designed p a r t i c u l a r l y for immigrant women, and even fewer o f f er programs s p e c i f i c a l l y for those who are bat tered . 1 3 7 The Canadian s o c i a l s erv ice system deals almost e x c l u s i v e l y with Eng l i sh or French Canadian c u l t u r a l norms and problems. P o l i c y makers do not recognize the needs of immigrant women; and when they do recognize them, they genera l ly do not consider 138 them a p r i o r i t y . 1 , 3 0 In a d d i t i o n , most government agencies and i n s t i t u t i o n s employ few, i f any, m u l t i l i n g u a l i n t e r p r e t e r s . 1 3 9 Despite the fact that a large proport ion of people i n Canada, 45% i n the c i t y of Vancouver alone, speak Eng l i sh or French only as a second language, most government p u b l i c a t i o n s are only i n the two o f f i c i a l languages. The c u l t u r a l i n s e n s i t i v i t y of s o c i a l s erv ice prov iders adds extra burdens to immigrant women who somehow manage to seek help from mainstream s e r v i c e s . C u l t u r a l misunderstandings and a lack of knowledge about other cu l tures may make p o l i c e o f f i c i a l s and serv ice providers re luc tant to intervene on behal f of immigrant women, b e l i e v i n g that to do so would v i o l a t e c u l t u r a l boundaries . 1 4 " Sometimes, women are blamed by s o c i a l serv ices for v io lence against them because of t h e i r c u l t u r a l backgrounds or r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s . 1 4 1 In order to f i l l th i s gap, some ethnic communities, immigrant organ iza t ions , and immigrant women's organ iza t ions , are t r y i n g to reach out to immigrant women who need h e l p . However, these organizat ions are inadequately funded. As a r e s u l t , immigrant women are denied access to appropriate s o c i a l s e r v i c e s . 4. Racism/Ethnocentrism Racism const i tutes the fourth fac tor that enhances the v u l n e r a b i l i t y of immigrant women. For women of c o l o u r , i s o l a t i o n i s aggravated by the r a c i s t 1 3 7 L. MacLeod; M. S h i n , A f r a i d and F o r g o t t e n : The S e r v i c e D e l i v e r y Needs and R e a l i t i e s of immigrant and Refugee Women Who are B a t t e r e d , 13. 1 3 8 S. McGowan, Immigrant Women i n Canada: A Source Handbook For A c t i o n , (Vancouver, B.C.: Task Force On immigrant Women, 1982), 8. 1 3 9 I b i d . 14" CPVAW, Changing Landscape: Ending V i o l e n c e - A c h i e v i n g E q u a l i t y , 90. 1 4 1 L. MacLeod; M. S h i n , A f r a i d and f o r q o t t o n , 21. 44 tendencies i n Canadian s o c i e t y . The racism they encounter i s r a r e l y overt or e x p l i c i t . However, subt le racism i s h i g h l y preva len t . I t manifests i t s e l f i n many forms: the women may fee l s l i g h t e d or put down by Canadians, they may f ee l they are t reated condescendingly or they may encounter h o s t i l e a t t i t u d e s . 1 4 2 They may also f e e l they face many negative s tereo-types: they may be viewed as meek and submissive, or as n a t u r a l l y occupying the lowest rungs of the s o c i a l ladder . 1 4 3 These tendencies further i s o l a t e immigrant women and make them vulnerable for v i o l e n c e . Racism i s a l so a s t r a t e g i c fac tor i n v io l ence against women. Women are u n l i k e l y to report v io lence they experience when they think the p o l i c e w i l l not be l i eve t h e i r s t o r i e s . When t h e i r abusers are white males, then, they often f ee l the e s s e n t i a l l y white-male state a u t h o r i t i e s may not be l i eve them. As was mentioned e a r l i e r , fore ign female domestic workers are often abused by t h e i r employers, employers' f r i e n d s , and employers' c h i l d r e n . But they often keep s i l e n t because of the fear that the a u t h o r i t i e s may not be l ieve t h e i r s t o r i e s or may deport them. In a d d i t i o n , many authors have pointed out that an immigrant woman of colour may be caught i n a dilemma about c a l l i n g the p o l i c e for help i f her community has been a target of p o l i c e harassment or v i o l e n c e . Women of colour understand the racism against men of colour because they themselves a l so experience i t . 1 4 4 When t h e i r partners behave v i o l e n t l y against them, i t i s d i f f i c u l t for women of colour to seek ass i s tance from e x i s t i n g serv ices which they i d e n t i f y as part of the r a c i s t power s t r u c t u r e s . 1 4 5 They may have to defend t h e i r abusive partners against the p o l i c e or they may be pressured by communities that i d e n t i f y p o l i c e as predominantly a 'white' i n s t i t u t i o n , in to not seeking p o l i c e i n t e r v e n t i o n . 1 4 6 1 4 2 J . Anderson, " M i g r a t i o n and H e a l t h : P e r s p e c t i v e s On Immigrant Women," 285. 1 4 3 F. Moghaddam; D. T a y l o r , "The meaning Of M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m For V i s i b l e M i n o r i t y Women," 128. 1 4 4 CPVAW, Changing Landscape: Ending V i o l e n c e - A c h i e v i n g E q u a l i t y , 81. 1 4 5 I b i d . 1 4 6 M. S h i n ; M. K r i s i t , V i o l e n c e A g a i n s t Immigrant V i s i b l e M i n o r i t y Women, (Ottawa: N a t i o n a l O r g a n i z a t i o n of Immigrant Women and V i s i b l e M i n o r i t y Women, 1992), 52. 45 In addressing the complex experience of v io lence and racism against women i n Canada, Glenda Sims, President of the Canadian Advisory Counci l on the Status of Women (CACSW) notes that , i n Canada, "there are a minor i ty of women who choose to endure the v io lence i n f l i c t e d on t h e i r bodies and t h e i r psyches" by t h e i r par tners , because they know that "the ir men-folk face h o r r i f i c l e v e l s of v io lence i n the systems that were designed to protect a l l persons i n the soc i e ty ." 1 4 7 She wr i tes : Black women and other r a c i a l m i n o r i t i e s have long perce ived elements i n p o l i c e forces and s o c i a l serv ices agencies as dangerous to t h e i r communities. They know that by c a l l i n g the p o l i c e , they r i s k ge t t ing t h e i r men maimed, p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y humil iated and often times k i l l e d . Systemic racism i n Canadian soc ie ty and i n the i n s t i t u t i o n s of j u s t i c e place r a c i a l minor i ty women between a rock and a hard place—we have forced them to choose between t h e i r l o y a l t y to community and t h e i r personal sa fe ty . These women w i l l continue to choose s i l e n c e u n t i l our s o c i a l and j u s t i c e i n s t i t u t i o n s deal with racism and sexism. In sum, racism/ethnocentrism has ser ious a f fec t s on the l i v e s of immigrant women. Not only does racism/ethnocentrism i s o l a t e immigrant women from the mainstream soc ie ty and enhance t h e i r v u l n e r a b i l i t y to v i o l e n c e , i t may a lso make them r e l u c t a n t to report the v i o l e n c e . Because immigrant women recognize the p o l i c e as e s s e n t i a l l y male white, they are re luc tant to report abuse to them . Because immigrant women know that t h e i r partners- experience r a c i s t / e t h n o c e n t r i c oppression i n Canada, they cannot put t h e i r abusive partners i n the hands of e s s e n t i a l l y r a c i s t / e t h n o c e n t r i c s tate a u t h o r i t i e s . G. Sims, "Double Jeopardy: M i n o r i t y Women and V i o l e n c e , " a keynote address t o a conf e r e n c e , A l t e r n a t i v e s : D i r e c t i o n s i n the N i n e t i e s t o End the Abuse of Women on June 6, 1991, c i t e d i n Winnipeg, Manitoba, i n V i o l e n c e A g a i n s t Immigrant and V i s i b l e M i n o r i t y Women, eds., M.Shin and M . K r i s i t . 1 4 8 I b i d . 46 5. Sexual ly , R a c i a l l y / E t h n i c a l l y Segregated Job market A " s e x u a l l y / r a c i a l l y segregated job market" 1 4 5 cons t i tu tes the f i f t h element that enhances immigrant women's v u l n e r a b i l i t y to v i o l e n c e . Immigrant women are placed i n the lowest occupat ional rung, below Canadian-born men and women, and male immigrants i n the Canadian job m a r k e t . 1 5 0 Almost o n e - t h i r d of a l l immigrant women are located i n two of the most p o o r l y - p a i d sectors of the Canadian labour force—the serv ice and product f a b r i c a t i n g and assembling industries—compared to only o n e - f i f t h of Canadian women and one-s ix th of Canadian men . 1 5 1 Some of the jobs immigrant women f i n d themselves i n i n c l u d e : domestic work, wa i t re s s ing , o f f i c e c leaning and dish-washing. As mentioned e a r l i e r , immigrant women face a number of obstacles to t h e i r upward m o b i l i t y i n job market. Not only do immigrant women face the sex segregation of the Canadian job market, but they a lso encounter racism, l i n g u i s t i c d i f f i c u l t i e s , and a lack of r ecogn i t ion of t h e i r overseas q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . Even those immigrants who have worked i n h igh ly s k i l l e d p r o f e s s i o n a l occupations i n t h e i r countr ies of o r i g i n f i n d i t d i f f i c u l t to get recogn i t ion for t h e i r previous experience. For example, a study of East Indian immigrant women i n Toronto revealed that four years of education i n a non-western u n i v e r s i t y was often rated as a Canadian grade 13 1R? diploma. Less than 3 % of the women with a teaching c e r t i f i c a t e were allowed to teach i n Ontar io . There i s no o f f i c i a l government assessment p o l i c y for non-Canadian education and work experience. In a d d i t i o n , immigrant women, l i k e many women i n Canada, f i n d a shortage of p u b l i c l y - f u n d e d r e l i a b l e day-care centres and a heavy load of domestic work as b a r r i e r s to t h e i r upward m o b i l i t y . The most obvious i m p l i c a t i o n of the hardship immigrant women face i n the job market i s that i t l i m i t s t h e i r choices when they experience v i o l e n c e . Some 1 4 5 The term a " s e x u a l l y and r a c i a l l y / e t h n i c a l l y segregated j o b market" i s used by R. Ng i n "Immigrant Women and I n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d Racism," 189. 1 5 0 I b i d . 1 5 1 I b i d . 1 5 2 S. McGowan, Immigrant Women i n Canada: A Source Handbook For A c t i o n , 7. 1 5 3 I b i d . 47 may f ee l as i f they and t h e i r c h i l d r e n cannot surv ive i f they leave t h e i r abusive par tners . Some may f e e l that l eav ing an abusive employer w i l l mean a loss of income. Even i f they manage to f i n d a new j o b , there i s no guarantee that the next employer w i l l be much bet ter than the previous one. 6. Conclus ion This chapter so far has shown that immigrant women as a group are made vulnerable to v io lence i n f i v e ways: immigration laws and regu la t ions , a l i m i t e d access to in format ion , a lack of adequate s o c i a l serv ices that meet the needs of immigrant women, racism/ethnocentrism, and sexual ly and r a c i a l l y / e t h n i c a l l y segregated job market. In sum, despite the d i v e r s i t y of immigrant women's s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l backgrounds i n t h e i r home countr ie s , most immigrant women i n Canada share c e r t a i n aspects of l i f e as ' immigrants . ' They may have d i f f i c u l t i e s i n adjus t ing to a new l i f e , because of d i f ferences a r i s i n g from gender, c u l t u r e , l i n g u i s t i c a b i l i t y , and co lour . They face a mult i tude of forms of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n on the bas i s of these d i f f erences . As a r e s u l t , most immigrant women experience the f ee l ings of powerlessness, hopelessness, and i s o l a t i o n i n Canada. They mostly depend on t h e i r fami ly , e s p e c i a l l y t h e i r husbands, for help and emotional support for everyday s u r v i v a l . This dependency makes immigrant women vulnerable e s p e c i a l l y when v io lence occurs w i t h i n the fami ly . In a d d i t i o n , a lack of adequate information on t h e i r r i g h t s and a l i m i t e d access to adequate s o c i a l serv ices fur ther enhance t h e i r i s o l a t i o n and v u l n e r a b i l i t y and s i g n i f i c a n t l y l i m i t t h e i r pos s ib l e courses of a c t i o n . The s t r u c t u r a l oppression of immigrant women i s embedded i n the Canadian system. The s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l context i n which immigrant women experience v io lence i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t from the one i n which mainstream Canadian women experience i t . One may s t i l l argue that the s i t u a t i o n faced by immigrant women who are trapped i n abusive r e l a t i o n s h i p s i s not so d i f f e r e n t from that faced by Canadian women; they can divorce t h e i r husbands; some of these women are e l i g i b l e for the s o c i a l serv ices that are a v a i l a b l e for a l l c i t i z e n s and permanent res idents of Canada; and, i f a l l e l se f a i l s , they can go back to where they come from. These arguments, however, completely ignore the r e a l i t y of immigrant women. F i r s t l y , they ignore the fact that many immigrants have a lready l o s t t h e i r home or career 48 when they entered Canada and they have nowhere to go back to . Many simply do not have enough money to r e - e s t a b l i s h themselves i n t h e i r home c o u n t r i e s . Refugees, i n p a r t i c u l a r , have no choice other than to stay i n Canada. Secondly, even for those women who are t e c h n i c a l l y able to support themselves and t h e i r c h i l d r e n i n Canada, l i m i t e d opportuni t i es for career advancement, f i n a n c i a l hardships , and racism leave them vu lnerab le , confused, depressed and alone. Considering the degree of v u l n e r a b i l i t y they face, there i s no guarantee that they may not be abused by someone e l s e , even i f they are able to escape from one abuser. A f t e r a l l , v io lence for them i s only one manifestat ion of oppress ion. What l i e s behind i t i s the s t r u c t u r a l oppression they face i n t h e i r everyday l i v e s . I t i s i n t h i s context that immigrant women keep s i l e n t when v io lence occurs . They may come to depend s trong ly on t h e i r husbands and f i n d i t d i f f i c u l t to leave them, no matter how b r u t a l the abuse i s . Since t h e i r husband i s often the only person they know i n Canada, even i f they are having d i f f i c u l t i e s with him, they do not think there i s any a l t e r n a t i v e . Likewise , because of the s i t u a t i o n they face , many immigrant women may not report sexual harassment i n the workplace. Just as immigrant women experience v io lence i n a d i f f e r e n t s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l s e t t i n g than do mainstream Canadian women, they a l so experience the r e a l i t y of everyday l i f e i n Canada d i f f e r e n t l y from t h e i r male counterparts . In Canada, t h e i r economic and i n t e l l e c t u a l contr ibut ions are undervalued by the "point system." The f i n a n c i a l and psycho log ica l dependence of sponsored female immigrants on t h e i r husbands i s made l e g a l by immigration r e g u l a t i o n s . L i v e - i n domestic workers face l e g a l l y accepted double standards i n the job market. Violence against immigrant women i s a p o l i t i c a l problem exact ly because of t h i s context. I t i s not j u s t a hardship they must put up with i n l i f e . Vio lence occurs i n a context i n which Canadian soc ie ty and i t s p o l i t i c a l system condone i t . The r e s u l t i n g h u m i l i a t i o n of immigrant women i s nothing but unjust , not only because of the p h y s i c a l and psycho log ica l pains that v ic t ims must bear, but a l so because of Canada's to lerance of them. Chapter 3. 3. The Gap Between P o l i c y Towards Women and Immigrants 49 The previous chapter has examined f ive fac tors i n Canadian soc ie ty that increase immigrant women's v u l n e r a b i l i t y . The Canadian system has f a i l e d to protect these women from v io lence by p a s s i v e l y accept ing p r a c t i c e s that d i scr iminate against them. This chapter w i l l examine why the state c o v e r t l y helps sus ta in these p r a c t i c e s . In order to f i n d answers to t h i s quest ion , t h i s chapter w i l l focus on the evo lut ion of Canadian p o l i c i e s concerning v io lence against immigrant women over the past two decades. The main questions to be asked i n th i s chapter are: How do Canadian governments deal with the i ssue of v io lence against immigrant women? Is there a s p e c i f i c p o l i c y that i s designed to pro tec t immigrant women from violence? Where i n Canadian p o l i t i c s do immigrant women stand? In order to answer these quest ions , t h i s chapter w i l l focus on two major areas of Canadian p o l i c y : p o l i c y towards women and towards immigrants. This chapter w i l l a l so examine the impl i ca t ions that p o l i c i e s i n these two areas have for the i ssue of v io lence against immigrant women. I w i l l conclude that ne i ther the p o l i c y towards women nor the p o l i c y towards immigrants provides measures which meet the s p e c i a l needs of immigrant women. The problem of immigrant women f a l l s in to the gap between the two areas of Canadian p o l i c y : the p o l i c y designed to protect women from v io l ence views immigrant women's problems as " e t h n i c a l l y s p e c i f i c , " while the p o l i c y towards immigrants views them as "women s p e c i f i c . " As a r e s u l t , I w i l l argue, immigrant women's problems are often neglected i n both areas of Canadian p o l i c y . 1. P o l i c i e s to pro tec t women from v io l ence H i s t o r i c a l l y , the issue of v io lence against women has been l a r g e l y ignored i n Canadian p o l i t i c a l d i scourse . Although there have been laws that made rape a crime, the crime had been seen more as a threat to male property than as an i n t r u s i o n on women's human r i g h t s . At the same time, laws that dea l t with sexual assaul t cases were often male b iased . For example, the 1892 Canadian Cr imina l Code required of the v i c t i m "the proof of penetrat ion" i n rape t r i a l s . I t inc luded "spousal immunity" p r o v i s i o n s , prevent ing the state from i n t e r f e r i n g i n 50 vio lence wi th in the fami ly . These prov i s ions remained u n t i l 1983. Feminist movements that began during the 1960's i n North America helped to br ing about changes i n Canadian p o l i c i e s towards women. During t h i s p e r i o d , feminist a c t i v i s t s and volunteers e s tab l i shed a number of c r i s i s she l t ers across Canada and the Canadian governments, under the Canada Ass i s tance Plan (CAP), s tar ted to fund these i n s t i t u t i o n s . At the same time, Parliament i n 1976 responded to the feminist c r i t i c i s m of the ru les of evidence by enact ing Sect ion 142 of the Cr imina l Code, which l i m i t e d the sor t of questions that could be asked of i n rape t r i a l s about the v i c t i m ' s sexual h i s t o r y . 1 5 4 Despite these changes during the 1970's, l o n g - e x i s t i n g norms concerning v io lence against women remained major obstacles to the feminist goals of e l i m i n a t i n g v io lence and p r o t e c t i n g women from v i o l e n c e . I f a woman was found to be 'promiscuous' or was known to be a p r o s t i t u t e or indeed had sexual r e l a t i o n s with the accused at some time p r i o r to her involvement with the j u s t i c e system, her case was not taken s e r i o u s l y because "she was more l i k e l y to have consented to the act of i n t e r c o u r s e . " 1 5 5 Meanwhile, feminist movements during t h i s per iod did not see a c l ear connection between v io lence and women's l i b e r a t i o n . For example, the 1970 Report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, which was considered to be the f i r s t s i g n i f i c a n t p o l i t i c a l document focused on women's i s sues , concentrated on economic aspects of women's l i b e r a t i o n and d i d not mention the issue of v i o l e n c e . A gradual change i n the p o l i t i c a l c l imate was, perhaps, the r e s u l t of the heated debate over women's r i g h t s during the compi lat ion of the 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I t s Sect ion 15 (1) ensures a strong 5 Changes i n S e c t i o n 142 of the C r i m i n a l Code i n 1976 were aimed a t r e d u c i n g the h u m i l i a t i o n endured by rape v i c t i m s d u r i n g rape t r i a l s by l i m i t i n g the k i n d of q u e s t i o n s about the v i c t i m ' s p a s t s e x u a l h i s t o r y . A c c o r d i n g t o the new S e c t i o n , the complainant c o u l d not be qu e s t i o n e d about her past s e x u a l h i s t o r y u n l e s s ; 1) reason a b l e n o t i c e was g i v e n ; 2) s u f f i c i e n t p a r t i c u l a r s of the evidence t o be adduced was p r o v i d e d ; and 3) the judge d e c i d e d , a f t e r an in-camera h e a r i n g , t h a t e x c l u s i o n of the evidence would p r e v e n t the j u s t d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f an i s s u e a t f a c e , i n c l u d i n g the c r e d i b i l i t y of the w i t n e s s . In the same y e a r , a n o t o r i o u s r u l e of ' c o r r o b o r a t i o n ' was a l s o a b o l i s h e d . U n t i l then, a judge had t o warn a j u r y i n a t r i a l f o r s e x u a l a s s a u l t t h a t i t was not s a f e t o c o n v i c t an accused on the b a s i s of the v i c t i m ' s u n c o r r o b o r a t e d e v i d e n c e . For more d e t a i l see, K. Andrew, "Crime A g a i n s t Women," i n The Canadian Women's L e g a l Guide, ed., M.J. Dymond, (Toronto: Doubleday Canada L t d . , 1993), 329. M. S t a n l e y , The Exp e r i e n c e Of The Rape V i c t i m With The C r i m i n a l J u s t i c e System P r i o r To Bill C-127 In Sexual A s s a u l t L e g i s l a t i o n In Canada. (Ottawa: Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1985), x i v . 51 c o n s t i t u t i o n a l guarantee of e q u a l i t y , while Sect ion 15 (2) guarantees the r ight s of "disadvantaged groups." Sect ion 15 of the Charter notes: (1) Every i n d i v i d u a l i s equal before and under the law and has the r i g h t to equal p r o t e c t i o n and equal benef i t of the law without d i s c r i m i n a t i o n and, i n p a r t i c u l a r , without d i s c r i m i n a t i o n based on race , na t iona l or e thnic o r i g i n , co lour , r e l i g i o n , sex, age or mental and p h y s i c a l d i s a b i l i t y . (2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or a c t i v i t y that has as i t s object the amel iorat ion of condi t ions of i n d i v i d u a l s or groups i n c l u d i n g those who are disadvantaged because of race , na t iona l or e thnic o r i g i n , co lour , r e l i g i o n , sex, age or mental or p h y s i c a l d i s a b i l i t y . Furthermore, l a r g e l y as a r e s u l t of women's p r o t e s t , Sect ion 28 was inser ted i n the Charter . I t declares that "notwithstanding anything i n t h i s Charter , the r i g h t s and freedoms r e f e r r e d to i n i t are guaranteed equal ly to male and female persons ." 1 5 6 The s ta tutory guarantee of women's r i g h t s , as wel l as of the r i g h t s of "disadvantaged groups," gave l e g a l support to women's f i g h t against v i o l e n c e . Armed with the r i g h t s enshrined i n the Charter , feminists had a stronger c la im that v io lence against women was a p o l i t i c a l problem. They could c la im that v io lence against women was a part of male domination and that women deserved s p e c i a l p r o t e c t i o n for t h e i r own r i g h t s . Canadian pol icy-makers could no longer dismiss women's c la im for p r o t e c t i o n by c la iming that i t was a p r i v a t e matter. A. L e g i s l a t i v e Changes On May 12, 1982, Member of Parliament (MP) Margaret M i t c h e l l made a speech concerning the issue of wife b a t t e r i n g at the House of Commons. I t was the day a f t er the Canadian Advisory Counc i l on the Status of Women (CACSW) submitted a report on battered wives to the House. The report recommended that the government consider that "assault i s a crime no matter who the aggressor i s" and that female 1R7 vic t ims have "the r i g h t to p r o t e c t i o n , even from t h e i r husbands." When M i t c h e l l quoted the report s t a t i n g that one i n ten husbands beat t h e i r wives r e g u l a r l y , however, laughter echoed i n the Parliament b u i l d i n g . One MP shouted, The Canadian C h a r t e r of R i g h t s and Freedoms (1982), sec. 28. CACSW, Summary Recommendations, (Ottawa: Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1982), 28. 52 "I don't beat my w i f e ! " 1 3 0 The adverse reac t ion from the predominately male MP's r e f l e c t e d the p o l i t i c a l atmosphere of 1982, even though the CAGSW's ac t ion of submitt ing the report to the House was seen as a major s tep. Since t h i s b i t t e r experience during the 1982 Parl iamentary debate, however, feminis t a c t i v i s t s have inf luenced government p o l i c i e s on the issue of v io lence against women. The most s i g n i f i c a n t event was the 1983 passage of B i l l C-127 and re la t ed b i l l s that brought about the ser i e s of r ev i s ions i n the C r i m i n a l Code sect ions dea l ing with rape and a s s a u l t s . 1 5 9 Most important ly , the p r o t e c t i o n the husband of the v i c t i m had prev ious ly enjoyed was e l iminated , so that now a husband could be charged with sexual ly a s s a u l t i n g his wife . Furthermore, the new laws and regulat ions removed the l e g a l d e f i n i t i o n of rape as penetrat ion and replaced i t with a new three t i e r e d offense e n t i t l e d "sexual a s sau l t ." The new d e f i n i t i o n s of sexual assaul t inc lude a much wider range of a c t i v i t i e s than were covered by the rape p r o v i s i o n s . 1 6 " The new prov i s ions i n the C r i m i n a l Code provided other changes aimed to ease women's burdens during the t r i a l . S o - c a l l e d "rape s h i e l d prov i s ions" l i m i t the k ind of questions that may be asked about the v i c t i m ' s past sexual h i s t o r y . C u r r e n t l y , Sect ion 277 p r o h i b i t s the i n t r o d u c t i o n of evidence of a v i c t i m ' s sexual reputat ion; Sect ion 276 p r o h i b i t s the i n t r o d u c t i o n of any evidence regarding a v i c t i m ' s past sexual a c t i v i t y with a person whether with the accused or with any other person, unless that evidence f a l l s w i th in one of three e x c e p t i o n s . 1 6 1 Furthermore, Sect ion 442.3 of the Cr imina l Code was rev i sed to ensure that the v i c t i m can request a ban on p u b l i c a t i o n during the course of t r i a l . C u r r e n t l y , Sect ions 276.1 and 276.3 ensure the v i c t i m ' s r i g h t s of p r i v a c y . 1 3 0 House of Commons, M.P. Margaret M i t c h e l l o f B.C. (Vancouver E a s t ) s p e a k i n g on a p a r l i a m e n t a r y r e p o r t on b a t t e r e d w i v e s , 32th P a r l i a m e n t , 1 s t s e s s . i n Debates, (12 May, 1982), v o l . xv, 17332-17334. 1 5 5 K. Andrew, "Crime A g a i n s t Women," 338-339. 16" I b i d . , 339. P r i o r t o the change, rape t r i a l s r e q u i r e d evidence of p e n e t r a t i o n . For d e f i n i t i o n of the term " s e x u a l a s s a u l t " see I n t r o d u c t i o n . 1 6 1 C u r r e n t l y , s e c t i o n 276 (2) a l l o w s a v i c t i m o f s e x u a l a s s a u l t t o be q u e s t i o n e d about her p a s t s e x u a l h i s t o r y i f the judge determines the e v i d e n c e ; 1) i s of s p e c i f i c i n s t a n c e s of s e x u a l a c t i v i t y ; 2) i s r e l e v a n t t o an i s s u e at t r i a l ; 3) has s i g n i f i c a n t p r o b a t i v e v a l u e t h a t i s s u b s t a n t i a l l y outweighed by the danger of p r e j u d i c e t o the proper a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of j u s t i c e . 53 Despite these ga ins , some of the changes aimed at p r o t e c t i n g women are now under a t tack . Some court dec i s ions have ru led that the r e s t r i c t i o n s are u n f a i r to the accused and contrad ic t the guarantee of a f a i r t r a i l under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For example, the "rape s h i e l d prov i s ions" i n the C r i m i n a l Code are under attack because they are a l l eged to be u n f a i r to men. In R. v. Seabover and R. v . Gayme, two a l l eged r a p i s t s , Steven Seaboyer and Negel Gayme, demanded that rape s h i e l d prov i s ions which l i m i t questions to be asked about the v i c t i m ' s past sexual l i f e i n t r a i l s be quashed . 1 6 2 In 1991, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously upheld that Sect ion 277 d id not v i o l a t e the Charter . But, by a major i ty of seven to two, the Judges he ld that Sect ion 276 v i o l a t e d sect ions 7 and 11 (d) of the Charter . The dec i s ion weakened rape s h i e l d prov i s ions by a l lowing , i n some circumstances, the use of evidence about the v i c t i m ' s past sexual a c t i v i t i e s with a person another than accused. J In Canadian Newspapers v . the Queen, a sub-sect ion of the C r i m i n a l Code concerning the ban on p u b l i c a t i o n during the rape t r i a l was challenged on the basis of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Sect ion 442 (3) 1 6* r e s t r i c t e d the p u b l i c a t i o n of facts d i s c l o s i n g the v i c t i m ' s i d e n t i t y i n sexual assaul t cases where the v i c t i m or the prosecutor requested the order , or where the court considered i t necessary. In October 1983, a man from Thunder Bay raped h i s wife us ing a weapon as a threa t . At h i s t r i a l , h i s wife appl ied to the court for a p u b l i c a t i o n ban on h i s name, which was a lso her own. 1 6 5 The Canadian Newspapers, 1 0 i These two men argued t h a t they were d e n i e d t h e i r r i g h t t o a f a i r t r i a l as p r o v i d e d f o r under the C h a r t e r . The Supreme Court of O n t a r i o i n 1985 accepted t h e i r arguments, and the Crown appealed the case t o the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of O n t a r i o . The d e c i s i o n s by the Court of Appeal were mixed i n r e g a r d t o women's i n t e r e s t s . Honourable Hr. J u s t i c e Grange of the Court of Appeal of O n t a r i o s t a t e d , " s e x u a l r e p u t a t i o n i s no more an i n d i c a t o r of c r e d i b i l i t y i n a woman than i t i s i n a man." He f e l t t h a t i n s t a n c e s where pa s t s e x u a l conduct were r e l e v a n t were r a r e enough as t o be b e t t e r l e f t t o the d e t e r m i n a t i o n of the p r e s i d i n g judge. However, Honourable Mr. J u s t i c e Brooks d i s s e n t e d i n t h i s c a s e , a r g u i n g t h a t i n s t a n c e s where p r e v i o u s s e x u a l h i s t o r y was r e l e v a n t were not a l l t h a t r a r e . He, t h e r e f o r e , supported quashing the rape s h i e l d p r o v i s i o n s . The Seaboye'r/Gayme cases was appealed t o t h e Supreme Court of Canada. See S. Razak, Canadian Feminism and The Law, 110. 1 6 3 M. S h a f f e r , "Seaboyer v. R.: A Case Comment," Canadian J o u r n a l Of Women And The Law, v o l . 5 , (1992), 202-211. 1 6 4 S e c t i o n 442 (3) was r e p e a l e d i n 1985 and c u r r e n t l y S e c t i o n 276.3 s t i p u l a t e s r u l e s on t h e ban of p u b l i c a t i o n d u r i n g the rape t r i a l . Razak, Canadian Feminism and The Law. 114-115. 54 a major newspaper conglomerate, v igorous ly opposed the use of th i s sub-sect ion i n the i n t e r e s t s of freedom of the p r e s s . 1 6 6 The f i n a l dec i s i on i n the Supreme Court of Canada found there to be s u f f i c i e n t j u s t i f i c a t i o n for keeping Sect ion 442(3). I f v i c t ims d i d not know i n advance that p u b l i c i t y of t h e i r names would be d e f i n i t e l y under t h e i r c o n t r o l , i t argued, they would be l ess l i k e l y to report sexual a s sau l t s . But the f i n a l d e c i s i o n , wr i t t en by The Honorable Mr. J u s t i c e Lamer, d id not s p e c i f i c a l l y address the quest ion of whether to quash 442 (3). The judge considered that t h i s was an issue of the r i g h t to a f a i r t r i a l and that the v a l i d i t y of 442 (3) was not under d i scuss ion i n the present c a s e . 1 6 7 In other words, the relevance of the rape s h i e l d prov i s ions and of exceptions set under these p r o v i s i o n s were put as ide for further debate. Despite these controvers i e s , these p r o v i s i o n s are often viewed as "a step i n the r i g h t d i r e c t i o n i n terms of recogniz ing the r e a l i t y women often face when they are forced to have sex against t h e i r w i l l . " 1 6 8 Meanwhile, the s l a y i n g of 14 female students i n Montreal i n December 1989 led to the crea t ion of a parl iamentary panel on v io lence against women. The Canadian Panel On Violence Against Women released i t s f i n a l report i n August 1993, e n t i t l e d Changing the Landscape: Ending Vio lence Against Women. The report argued that v io l ence against women i s one form of systematic oppression of women that cannot be overcome without fundamental changes i n s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s between men and women. For these purposes, the report recommended that the government implement a Nat ional Ac t ion Plan c o n s i s t i n g of two main themes: an E q u a l i t y A c t i o n Plan and a Zero Tolerance P o l i c y . The report argued that the two themes, achiev ing sex e q u a l i t y and ending v i o l e n c e , are c l o s e l y r e l a t e d and p o l i c y aimed at e i ther of these two goals cannot be success fu l unless both goals 1 6 6 The judge, The Honorable Mr. J u s t i c e Osbourne o f t h e Supreme Court o f O n t a r i o , endorsed a v i c t i m ' s r i g h t t o c o n t r o l p u b l i c a t i o n of her name. On a p p e a l , however, The Honorable Mr. J u s t i c e Howland of the Court of Appeal, w h i l e acknowledging t h e importance o f t h e s o c i a l v a l u e of r e p o r t i n g r a p e s , f e l t t h a t t h e v i c t i m ' s c o n t r o l of p u b l i c a t i o n might have the impact of h i n d e r i n g j u s t i c e i n some i n s t a n c e s . He h y p o t h e s i z e d t h a t a complainant might be f a l s e l y a c c u s i n g an accused and i f her name appeared i n the p r e s s some w i t n e s s e s may d e c i d e t o t e s t i f y on b e h a l f of the accused. See S. Razak, Canadian Feminism and The Law, 115. 1 6 7 I b i d . , 119. K. Andrew, "Crime A g a i n s t Somen," 349. 55 are pursued s imultaneously . According to the Nat ional A c t i o n P l a n , the E q u a l i t y Act ion Plan tackles issues such as women's p o l i t i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n and equal access to job markets. At the same time, the Zero Tolerance P o l i c y focuses on Canada's "f irm commitment to the phi losophy that no amount of v io lence i s i c q acceptable ." So f a r , Canada has not made any s ta tutory commitment to the Zero Tolerance P o l i c y and most of the Panel 's recommendations. Apart from these changes i n v io lence r e l a t e d l e g i s l a t i o n , there has been a change i n l e g i s l a t i o n that i s designed to promote e q u a l i t y between the sexes i n the workforce. In 1986, Canada proclaimed the Employment Equi ty A c t . Although i t does not d i r e c t l y deal with the i ssue of v i o l e n c e , i t has s i g n i f i c a n t impl i ca t ions for the i s sue , because women's economic independence i s a precondi t ion for the e l i m i n a t i o n of v io lence against them. The Act i s aimed to secure workplace e q u a l i t y by promoting a f u l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n of "those who are at an employment disadvantage character ized by a pat tern of higher unemployment ra te s , lower employment populat ion r a t i o s , l i m i t e d occupat ional ranges, l i m i t e d career progress ion or lower earnings compared to the res t of the work force populat ion" i n the job market. 1 7 0 "Women, persons with d i s a b i l i t i e s , a b o r i g i n a l 171 peoples and members of v i s i b l e minor i ty groups" are to be a c t i v e l y r e c r u i t e d . This p o l i c y appl ies to a l l f e d e r a l l y regulated employers with 100 or more employees, i n c l u d i n g crown corporat ions . These corporat ions must report annual ly 172 to the Treasury Broad on the implementation of an employment equi ty p l a n . Employers who do not report are l i a b l e for a maximum f ine of $50,000. In a d d i t i o n , a non-statutory program for contract compliance, i n i t i a t e d by the federa l government i n the same year, requires any p r i v a t e company which obtains f edera l contracts of $200,000 or more, and with 100 or more employees, to 1 6 9 CPVAW, Changing Landscape. P a r t F i v e , 23. 170 Trea s u r y Board of Canada, Employment E g u i t y f o r Crown C o r p o r a t i o n s : P o l i c y and Reference Guide. (Ottawa: Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1986), 2. 1 7 1 I b i d . 1 7 2 I b i d . , 3. 56-implement an action plan and to submit to a review of the p l a n . 1 7 3 I f the plan i s found to be inadequate, the company may be d i s q u a l i f i e d from bidding for a future federal contract. 1 7 4 So f a r , the Employment Equity Act and the non-statuary contract compliance program have had only minimal impact i n improving workforce inequality between the two sexes. Only a small percentage of employers are covered under these provisions. In sum, the passage of Bill-C127 i n 1983 and subsequent changes i n l e g i s l a t i o n i l l u s t r a t e a change i n p o l i t i c a l climate that i s favourable to women. These changes a l l point to the growing public awareness of the issue of violence against women- A number of contemporary government publications c i t e the term "violence against women-" In addition,- the issue of violence against women, was i d e n t i f i e d as a p r i o r i t y concern i n Throne speeches i n 1984 and 1986. On August 10, 1991, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney stated that "one Canadian woman suffering violence at home or elsewhere i s too many."17^ Despite the r i s e i n awareness, Canada has not yet implemented strong measures to stop the violence. Women experience a setback as a result of legal controversies over the interpretation of the rape s h i e l d provisions. The recommendations made by the CPVAW. have not been implemented. And the eff e c t s of the Employment Equity Act oa women's job p a r t i c i p a t i o n market are yet to. be seen. B. Administrative Changes Following the changes i n l e g i s l a t i o n ^ d ifferent departments and agencies, as. well as some provincial governments, have adapted new polic y guidelines for dealing with violence against women^ For example r a number of procedural changes have been brought about i n the criminal j u s t i c e system i n order to, protect women 1 7 3 1. Allan, Eaployaent Eouitv: Io» CanWe. Ose i t To Fight Workplace Racisa. (Toronto: Cross, Cultural Coiniunication Centre,. 1988), 13. 1 7 4 I b i d . 171 L. MacLeod, Battered But Sot Beaten,..Preventing Bife Battering In Canada. 3. 1 7 6 Status.of Boaen Canada, Living Without Fear...Everyone's Coal. Every Boaen's Right. (Ottawa: Supply and Services, 1991), 1. 57 from v i o l e n c e . The S o l i c i t o r General i n i t s 1983 g u i d e l i n e , e n t i t l e d the Canadian F e d e r a l - P r o v i n c i a l Taskforce on J u s t i c e For Vict ims of Crime, suggested that " a l l p o l i c e departments should implement s p e c i a l t r a i n i n g programs to s e n s i t i z e o f f i c e r s to the needs of sexual assaul t v i c t i m s . " 1 7 7 The report suggested that "prosecution and court p r a c t i c e s should be examined" to be more responsive to v ic t ims of sexual a s s a u l t . 1 7 8 In 1993, the B . C . M i n i s t r y of Attorney General set a new g u i d e l i n e , e n t i t l e d Vio lence Against Women and C h i l d r e n , i n order to deal with v io l ence against women i n a way that was more responsive to women's needs. The gu ide l ine notes: In the pas t , the j u s t i c e system response has been to consider "spousal assault" p r i m a r i l y a domestic or s o c i a l problem, which i s best handled outs ide the c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e sys tem. . . That approach has been i n e f f e c t i v e i n reducing the inc idence of v io lence against women i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s and inadequate i n terms of p r o t e c t i n g women. n According to the r e p o r t , the c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system f a i l e d to see a power imbalance between the v i c t i m and the a s s a i l a n t , while that power imbalance was perpetuated by s o c i e t a l and i n d i v i d u a l messages undermining the p o t e n t i a l for 1 AO women to gain c o n t r o l of t h e i r s i t u a t i o n s . The report concluded that the lack of understanding had l ed to a lack of coord inat ion between p o l i c e , Crown prosecutors , and s o c i a l workers. In order to overcome t h i s f a i l u r e , the M i n i s t r y of the Attorney General pledged i t s commitment to: ".a mult i -agency, coordinated e f f o r t , i n c l u d i n g cooperation with community agencies;" r igorous a r r e s t and prosecut ion of those who commit v io lence against women; and improvement of the c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system so that i t w i l l meet "the best i n t e r e s t of the v i c t i m s . " 1 8 1 The M i n i s t r y ' s recommendations to the p o l i c e , the Crown, C o r r e c t i o n s , Family Court Counse l lors , and J u s t i c e of the Peace and T r i a l Coordinators , are centered around aggressive in ter ference with and s t r i c t e r 177 S o l i c i t o r G e n e r a l , Canadian F e d e r a l - P r o v i n c i a l T a s k f o r c e On J u s t i c e For V i c t i m s Of Crime: Implementing Report, (Ottawa, Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1983), 26. 1 7 8 I b i d . 171 B.C. M i n i s t r y of A t t o r n e y , " V i o l e n c e A g a i n s t Women In R e l a t i o n s h i p P o l i c y , " i n V i o l e n c e A g a i n s t Women and C h i l d r e n , P a r t I , ( V i c t o r i a , BCC.:Queen's P r i n t e r , 1993). 2. 1 8 0 I b i d . , 3. 1 8 1 I b i d . ' 58 punishment of sexual assaul t o f f e n d e r s . 1 8 2 These changes i n gu ide l ines have brought some improvements i n the s o c i a l s erv ice d e l i v e r y systems that deal with female v ic t ims of v io l ence : p o l i c e t r a i n i n g has been upgraded to s tress s e n s i t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n i n wife assaul t cases and more aggressive l ay ing of charges against a s s a i l a n t s ; 1 8 3 m u l t i - d i s c i p l i n a r y c r i s i s teams on wife b a t t e r i n g , made up of p o l i c e o f f i c e r s , s o c i a l workers, and vo lunteers , have been assembled; and the number of c r i s i s she l ters i n Canada has t r i p l e d from 85 i n 1982 to more than 300 i n 1993. 1 8 4 Two federa l Family Vio lence I n i t i a t i v e s , one implemented i n 1988, with a budget of $40 m i l l i o n over four years , and another i n 1991 with $136 m i l l i o n over four year, aimed to invo lve several f edera l departments i n s t ra teg ie s to prevent family v i o l e n c e . 1 8 5 C. Success and f a i l u r e of p o l i c y towards v io lence against women One of the major improvements i n p o l i c y towards v io lence against women over the past two decades i s the change i n the s ta te ' s view of v io lence against women. The s tate has come to recognize that v io lence against women i s one mani fes tat ion of the power imbalance between men and women and that the state has a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to protect women from v i o l e n c e . These views are i l l u s t r a t e d i n many government documents, as i l l u s t r a t e d above. The recogn i t ion of the p o l i c e ' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to inform women of the p o t e n t i a l danger of rape, i s a l so r e f l e c t e d i n the court dec i s ion i n Jane Doe v. Metropol i tan Toronto P o l i c e . A woman who had been raped by a balcony r a p i s t f i l e d a s u i t against the p o l i c e for f a i l i n g to warn women i n the area about t h i s s e r i a l r a p i s t . She won her r i g h t to be protected from r a p e . 1 8 5 On February 5, 1991, the Ontario Court of Appeal made a 1 0 Z I b i d 10. 101 1 0 J L. MacLeod, B a t t e r e d But Not B e a t e n . . . P r e v e n t i n g Wife B a t t e r i n g In Canada, 82. 1 p* S. Harder, "Women i n Canada: Socio-Economic S t a t u s And Other Contemporary I s s u e s , " by i n C u r r e n t Issue Review, no. 91-5E, r v . , 30 November 1993, (Ottawa: L i b r a r y of P a r l i a m e n t , Research Branch, P o l i t i c a l and S o c i a l A f f a i r s D i v i s i o n ) , 9. 1 8 5 S t a t u s o f Women Canada, L i v i n g Without Fear...Everyone's G o a l , Every Women's R i g h t , The F e d e r a l Government Response t o the Report Of the S t a n d i n g Committee On H e a l t h and W e l f a r e , S o c i a l A f f a i r s , S e n i o r s and the S t a t u s Of Women, "The War A g a i n s t Women," (Ottawa: Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1991), 1. S. Razak, Canadian Feminism and The Law. 119. 59 unanimous dec i s ion to deny the p o l i c e the r i g h t to a p p e a l . 1 8 7 Thus, the court recognized the p o l i c e ' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to provide information about v io lence and to protec t women from v i o l e n c e . The second major improvement i s that the s ta te has broadened working d e f i n i t i o n s of v io lence against women, to inc lude a v a r i e t y of sexual a c t i v i t i e s as wel l as v i o l e n t behaviours. New d e f i n i t i o n s are aimed at de f in ing sexual a c t i v i t i e s from the woman's point of view. Unwanted touching of c e r t a i n parts of the body may mean 'rape' for women, while for men 'rape' may mean ' p e n e t r a t i o n . ' For the woman, 'rape' means 'rape* whether the aggressor i s her partner or a s tranger . As a r e s u l t , the o l d categor ies , such as wife beat ing , rape, sexual a s s a u l t , and v i o l e n c e , are now seen as a part of the more i n c l u s i v e category of "violence against women." Despite these improvements, there are three major impediments women face i n t h e i r f i g h t against v io lence and for p r o t e c t i o n from v io l ence : 1) the t r a d i t i o n a l s ex i s t assumptions of Canadian soc ie ty ; 2)a lack of f i n a n c i a l support and inadequate funding c r i t e r i a for women's organisa t ions ; and 3) a lack of s t r u c t u r a l support. F i r s t l y , s e x i s t assumptions i n Canadian soc ie ty have remained p e r s i s t e n t . Despite the changes i n the Cr imina l Code, women who go to court accusing someone they know of rape run headlong in to the power of the male rape fantasy, that i s , that a woman's 'no' means ' ye s . ' An under ly ing assumption i s that consent i s probably given i f the v i c t i m knows the accused and has been i n an int imate r e l a t i o n s h i p before the a l l eged rape. This assumption ignores the r e a l i t y of the power imbalances that ex i s t between men and women, while i t 100 remains as one of the most i n f l u e n t i a l fac tors i n most court d e c i s i o n s . 0 0 In a d d i t i o n , "honest b e l i e f " or "mistake of f a c t , " which means that the a l l eged a s s a i l a n t honest ly be l ieved his v i c t i m consented, i s often used by male a s sa i l an t s as an excuse. I t i s u n f a i r for women because i t would def ine the crime according to the accused's b e l i e f s and not according to the v i c t i m ' s 1 8 7 I b i d . , 120. S. Razak, Canadian Feminism And The Law. 113. 60 ion experience. Secondly, women's organizat ions dea l ing with v io lence against women are c h r o n i c a l l y under-funded. The lack of f i n a n c i a l support from government severe ly a f f ec t s the operat ion of many organizat ions dea l ing with v io l ence against ion women. In r e a l i t y , 10% of she l t er workers i n MacLeod's study i n 1985 s a i d they were unable to provide c o u n s e l l i n g , house maintenance, or 24 hour s t a f f i n g because of a lack of funds. An a d d i t i o n a l 74% of she l t er workers sa id inadequate funding prevented them from prov id ing c e r t a i n types of s e r v i c e s , e s p e c i a l l y c h i l d care and counse l l ing s e r v i c e s . 1 9 1 I f we add up these two f i g u r e s , as many as 84% of workers interviewed complained about a lack of f i n a n c i a l support for t h e i r s h e l t e r s . According to NAC, the budgets for programs o f f e r i n g c o u n s e l l i n g and she l t er for women leav ing v i o l e n t s i t u a t i o n s are being s tretched to t h e i r 1 Q1 l i m i t . The heavy r e l i a n c e on vo luntary unpaid labour , mostly female, leaves these serv ices i n "a precarious p o s i t i o n . 1 , 1 9 3 Not only do women's organizat ions suf fer from a lack of p u b l i c funds, they a l so suf fer from inadequate c r i t e r i a for such funding. Many government-sponsored programs are funded on the bas i s of the content of i n d i v i d u a l programs, rather than the nature of the organizat ions that host these programs. As a r e s u l t , many organizat ions do not rece ive funding to provide a d d i t i o n a l serv ices such as c h i l d care and counse l l ing for v i c t i m s ' c h i l d r e n , while most women consider these serv ices e s s e n t i a l . E s p e c i a l l y when v io lence occurs at home, the woman i s 1 8 9 I b i d . , 112. inn v About h a l f of the s h e l t e r s i n Canada are now funded under the "Hones f o r S p e c i a l Care" p r o v i s i o n of the Canada A s s i s t a n c e P l a n (CAP). A c c o r d i n g t o CAP p r o v i s i o n s , the o p e r a t i o n a l c o s t s , i n c l u d i n g mortgage c o s t s , c o u n s e l l i n g , i n f o r m a t i o n , r e f e r r a l , and c h i l d - c a r e s e r v i c e s , are r o l l e d up i n t o one sum which i s c o s t - s h a r e d on a 50-50 b a s i s w i t h the f e d e r a l and p r o v i n c i a l governments. F e m i n i s t s have argued t h a t the c o s t s h a r i n g scheme of the CAP p r o v i s i o n has l e d t o r e g i o n a l imbalance i n s e r v i c e d e l i v e r y : many women who l i v e i n remote areas do not have a s h e l t e r around her neighbourhood, because the r e g i o n a l government c o u l d not share the c a s t . Some s h e l t e r s are not funded under t h e CAP, but by per diem. T h i s means t h a t t h e s h e l t e r ' s fund i s based on t h e occupancy of beds. The per diem f u n d i n g c r i t e r i a has been c r i t i c i z e d by f e m i n i s t s , because the c r i t e r i a b a r e l y c overs the a d m i n i s t r a t i v e c o s t of s h e l t e r s on a r e g u l a r b a s i s . For more d i s c u s s i o n s on p u b l i c f u n d i n g f o r s h e l t e r s see, L. MacLeod, B a t t e r e d But Not B e a t e n . . . P r e v e n t i n g Wife B e a t i n g In Canada, 59. 1 9 1 I b i d . i n n " L S. Harder, "Women In Canada: Socio-Economic S t a t u s And Other Contemporary I s s u e s , " 13. 1 9 3 I b i d . 61 re luc tant to leave her c h i l d r e n behind, knowing that her partner may abuse her c h i l d r e n while she i s gone. A number of s tudies have found that the witness ing of v io lence at home i s l i k e l y to have a traumatic in f luence on the psycho log i ca l development of c h i l d r e n , and yet serv ices for c h i l d r e n are bare ly a v a i l a b l e . Furthermore, women's organizat ions which deal with v io lence against women do not u s u a l l y rece ive funds for t r a i n i n g s t a f f and vo lunteers , or long-term funding that would al low them to p lan p r o j e c t s which cut across f i s c a l years . The t h i r d problem i s a lack of s t r u c t u r a l support w i th in the f edera l government. Since the e a r l y 1970's, Canada has e s tab l i shed a v a r i e t y of p o l i t i c a l mechanisms to promote e q u a l i t y for women. The f i r s t women's agency, created i n 1973, was the CACSW. C u r r e n t l y , the CACSW reports to Parl iament , through the M i n i s t e r of the State , Responsible for M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m and the Status of 191 Women. The M i n i s t e r has her own department, the Department of the Status of Women. The Woman's Program, f i r s t under the Secretary of State and c u r r e n t l y under Human Development and Resources, provides funding to a s s i s t n a t i o n a l , reg iona l and l o c a l groups pursue women's e q u a l i t y . At the House of Commons, the Standing Committee on Health and Welfare , S o c i a l A f f a i r s , Seniors and the Status of Women's sub-committee on the Status of Women, were responsible for repor t ing to the House. In November 1993, the committee was d iv ided in to two new committees, the Committee on Health and the Committee on Human Resources Development. There has been no independent committee responsible for women's i s sues . Despite the fact that there have been min i s ters or Secre tar ie s of State respons ible for the status of women, no department has had s ta tutory au thor i ty to i n i t i a t e b i l l s . P o l i c i e s and programs are often developed without p r i o r consu l ta t ion with the federa l mechanism for women. This has a profound impact on the i ssue of v io l ence against women, because there i s no f edera l agency that can supervise and oversee various programs and p o l i c i e s advocated by d i f f e r e n t departments. Feminists have c r i t i c i z e d the lack of p o l i t i c a l s t ruc ture designed to ensure that gender e q u a l i t y i s promoted through a l l f edera l p o l i c i e s and In November 1993, the j u r i s d i c t i o n of the two m i n i s t e r s under the C o n s e r v a t i v e g o v e r n m e n t s - t h e M i n i s t e r R e s p o n s i b l e f o r the S t a t u s of Women and the M i n s t e r R e s p o n s i b l e f o r M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , was t r a n s f e r r e d t o the S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e . 62 programs. The CPVAW, for example, recommended to the government that a "Status of Women Act" be enacted to i d e n t i f y the s p e c i f i c r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of the federal government to ensure that the equality and safety of a l l Canadian women i s advanced. 1 9 5 The CPVAW recommends that the Act designate the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women as a senior minister with the power and authority to enforce the Act and to participate i n the development of a l l federal government p o l i c i e s , programs and l e g i s l a t i v e proposals i n order to assess their impact on a l l women; and that the subcommittee on the Status of Women be elevated to f u l l committee s t a t u s . 1 9 6 Unfortunately, the government reshuffle under the Liberals i n November 1993 did not implement these recommendations. The successes and fai l u r e s l i s t e d above affect a l l women, including immigrant women. The implications that p o l i c i e s geared towards women i n general have for immigrant women w i l l be discussed i n the t h i r d section of this chapter. 2. Policy towards Immigrants This section w i l l explore two areas of policy concerning to immigrant women; multiculturalism policy and immigration policy. A. Multiculturalism Policy The embryo of Canadian multiculturalism p o l i c y can be traced back to the 1960's. The r i s e of the c i v i l rights movements at the global l e v e l and a subsequent assertion of the rights of minority groups during the 1960's created a favourable climate for Canadian multiculturalism. Partly due to the p o l i t i c a l climate, Canada eliminated discriminatory provisions i n i t s immigration regulations that granted a person landed immigrant status on the basis of his/her national o r i g i n . The 1967 Immigration Act i n s t i t u t e d a point system, removing "preferred races" as a c r i t e r i o n for the admission of immigrants. 1 9 7 At the same time, discussions i n the Royal Commission of Bilingualism and Biculturalism during the 1960's centered around the issue of how to empower CPVAW, Changing Landscape: Boding Violence - Achieving Equality. Part Five, 11. 1 9 6 Ibid. 197 Historically, British and OS citizens, as well as other white citizens of English-speaking countries had been considered a "preferred race," and had been given a priority when they applied for the iaiigrant status. 63 French Canadians i n Canada's predominantly E n g l i s h speaking s o c i e t y . 1 9 8 While the Commission supported the dominance of the E n g l i s h and French c u l t u r e s , i t was expected to consider the c o n t r i b u t i o n of other e thnic groups i n Canada. The cons iderat ion of other e thnic groups came about p a r t l y as a r e s u l t of pressures from e thn ic groups who feared the o f f i c i a l r e c o g n i t i o n of E n g l i s h and French cu l tures might l i m i t t h e i r p o l i t i c a l access and t h e i r group r i g h t s . 1 9 9 In 1971, the government decided to implement "an o f f i c i a l p o l i c y of M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m wi th in a b i l i n g u a l framework." On October 8, Prime M i n i s t e r Trudeau s tated: "For although these are two o f f i c i a l languages, there i s no o f f i c i a l c u l t u r e , nor does any e thnic group take precedence over any other . No c i t i z e n or groua.of c i t i z e n s i s other than Canadian, and a l l should be treated f a i r l y . z u u In order to promote e q u a l i t y among e thnic groups, m u l t i c u l t u r a l p o l i c y focused on four major areas: ass is tance to c u l t u r a l groups, overcoming b a r r i e r s to f u l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n by i n d i v i d u a l s i n Canadian s o c i e t y , c u l t u r a l interchange i n the i n t e r e s t of na t iona l un i ty and ass i s tance i n o f f i c i a l language t r a i n i n g . t u l The i n t r o d u c t i o n of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms i n 1982 further enhanced Canadian m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m . In a d d i t i o n to i t s pledge for the guarantee of e q u a l i t y for every i n d i v i d u a l i n Sect ion 15 (1) , s o - c a l l e d "group r ight s" were enshrined i n Sect ion 15 (2). l V L The Charter a l so inc ludes the " m u l t i c u l t u r a l clause" of Sect ion 27, proc la iming that the Charter "sha l l be in terpre ted i n a manner cons is tent with the preservat ion and enhancement of the m u l t i c u l t u r a l her i tage of Canadians." 1 9 8 During the Q u i e t R e v o l u t i o n i n Quebec d u r i n g the 1 9 6 0 ' F r e n c h - C a n a d i a n s became more a s s e r t i v e f o r the r e c o g n i t i o n o f t h e i r d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s . The R o y a l Commission of B i l i n g u a l i s m and B i c u l t u r a l i s m was e s t a b l i s h e d i n 1963 t o develop a comprehensive p o l i c y t o enhance r e l a t i o n s between the French and E n g l i s h communities. Canada p r o c l a i m e d the O f f i c i a l Language A c t i n 1969, r e c o g n i z i n g both E n g l i s h and French as o f f i c i a l languages. 1 9 9 F. Hawkins argues t h a t the p o l i t i c a l a m b i t i o n of the L i b e r a l s , who were i n t e r e s t e d i n o r g a n i z e d e t h n i c votes i n urban c e n t r e s such as Toronto and M o n t r e a l , a l s o c o n t r i b u t e d Canada's d e c i s i o n t o implement m u l t i c u l t u r a l p o l i c y . F. Hawkins, "Canadian M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m : The P o l i c y E x p l a i n e d , " i n Canadian Mosaic Essays On M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m . eds., J . F r y ; Ch. F o r c e v i l l e , (Amsterdam: Free U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1988), 16. M i n i s t e r of S t a t e , M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m and Government Of Canada, (Ottawa: Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1978), 14. 2" 1 House of Commons, The S t a n d i n g Committee On M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m : B u i l d i n g The Canadian Mosaic. Report Of The Standing Committee On M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , (Ottawa: Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1987), 1. For the c o n t e n t of S e c t i o n 15, see page 53 of t h i s t h e s i s . 64 Supported by the guarantee of " m u l t i c u l t u r a l r igh t s" under the Charter , e t h n o - c u l t u r a l groups during the 1980's c r i t i c i z e d the inadequacy of m u l t i c u l t u r a l p o l i c y during the 1970's. The p o l i c y focused, they argued, too much on symbolic aspects of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m such as f e s t i v a l s , but l e f t ethno-c u l t u r a l m i n o r i t i e s f a c i n g v a r y i n g degrees of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . They a l so argued that m u l t i c u l t u r a l p o l i c y should do more about the i n t e g r a t i o n of Canadian people of d i f f e r e n t o r i g i n s in to mainstream soc ie ty . 2 " 3 In order to respond to such c r i t i c i s m , House of Common's Standing Committee on M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , i n i t s report e n t i t l e d B u i l d i n g Canadian Mosaic , noted that "the M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m P o l i c y of 1971 i s c l e a r l y outdated." 2 " 4 The committee recommended that the M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m Act be enacted because there had been no 1 AC act which e s tab l i shed a c l e a r p o l i c y . Fol lowing the recommendation, Parliament unanimously adopted the M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m Act i n 1988 to ensure the attainment of the objec t ives of the m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m . The Act s ta tes : Government of Canada recognizes the d i v e r s i t y of C a n a d i a n s . . . as a fundamental c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Canadian soc ie ty and i s committed to a p o l i c y of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m designed to preserve and enhance the m u l t i c u l t u r a l her i tage of Canadians while working to achieve the e q u a l i t y of a l L , Canadians i n the economic, c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l l i f e of Canada. In order to achieve these o b j e c t i v e s , the M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m Act s tates that a l l f edera l departments and agencies are committed to the removal of b a r r i e r s to an i n d i v i d u a l ' s f u l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Canadian s o c i e t y . Several m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m programs have been introduced i n order to address the inadequacy of mainstream s e r v i c e s . C u r r e n t l y , government funds are a v a i l a b l e to immigrants and e thnic communities through the fo l lowing m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m programs: 1) Race Relat ions and C r o s s - C u l t u r a l Understanding, which supports a c t i v i t i e s that f i g h t against racism and increase intergroup communications; 2) Community Support and P a r t i c i p a t i o n , which supports e thnic and immigrant 2 0 3 I b i d . , 2. 2 0 4 I b i d . , 1. 2 0 5 I b i d . MCC, M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m : What I s I t R e a l l y About? (Ottawa: Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1991), 6. 2 0 7 I b i d . , 12. 65 communities; and 3) Heri tage Cul tures and Languages, which encourages research and a c t i v i t i e s for c u l t u r a l p r e s e r v a t i o n . 2 0 8 The Federa l budget a l l o c a t i o n for such programs s tar ted with $1.5 m i l l i o n i n 1971, 2 0 9 and increased to $27 m i l l i o n by 1 9 9 0 . A s a r e s u l t of the recent government r e s h u f f l e , j u r i s d i c t i o n over these programs was t rans ferred from the MCC to the new department of Human Resource and Development Canada. P r o v i n c i a l / t e r r i t o r i a l governments a l so support e thnic communities and immigrant organiza t ions . 2 1 1 Immigrant and ethnic minor i ty women's organizat ions have, to a c e r t a i n degree, benef i ted from these programs. They have funded such projec t s as the crea t ion of the M u l t i c u l t u r a l Women's Center i n O n t a r i o , "The Mental Health Needs of Immigrant Women i n Ottawa-Carleton" study and "being-well" workshops for immigrant women. In 1993, the department contr ibuted to the work of a Toronto film-maker making a docudrama about family v io lence i n an immigrant household. The f i l m shows an immigrant woman of P h i l i p p i n e s o r i g i n coping with abuse by her Canadian-born par tner . In the same year i t a l so supported a conference of Muslim women who discussed t h e i r gender ro les i n C a n a d a . 2 1 4 B. Immigration P o l i c y Canadian immigration p o l i c i e s have t r a d i t i o n a l l y been aimed at meeting at the demand for l abor . Whether new immigrants s u c c e s s f u l l y adapt to Canadian soc ie ty was not a major concern of governments. Immigrants were expected to adjust to a new soc i e ty on t h e i r own, with the help of s e l f - h e l p groups and 208 209 MCC, M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m : What I s I t R e a l l y About? 25. House of Commons,. The Standing Committee On M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m . M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m : B u i l d i n g The Canadian Mosaic, 1. 2 1 0 MCC, M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m : What I s I t R e a l l y About?, 13. 211 4 1 1 The B.C. government, f o r example, i n t r o d u c e d the B.C. S e t t l e m e n t Grants Program which p r o v i d e s f u n d i n g to i m m i g r a n t - s e r v i n g and community-based agencies aimed a t h e l p i n g them respond to the s e t t l e m e n t and i n t e g r a t i o n needs of t h e i r communities. L 1 L House of Commons, The S t a n d i n g Committee On M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m : B u i l d i n g The Canadian Mosaic, 110. 2 1 3 MCC, C r e a t i n g A Sense Of B e l o n g i n g . . . H i g h l i g h t s : 1991/1992 Annual Report on the O p e r a t i o n of the Canadian M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m A c t , (Ottawa: Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1993), 10. 2 1 4 I b i d . , 15. 66 volunteer e thnic or r e l i g i o u s o r g a n i z a t i o n s . 2 1 5 Since the e a r l y 1970*s and onward, however, governments have r e a l i z e d the importance of immigrant adaptat ion to Canadian soc i e ty . At the same time, the growth of Canadian m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , with i t s focus on achiev ing e q u a l i t y for people of d i f f e r e n t e thnic o r i g i n s , a lso j u s t i f i e d s ta te ' s involvement i n immigrant adaptat ion to Canada. As a r e s u l t , governments during the 1970's s tar ted to provide them with s p e c i a l programs. In dea l ing with immigrants, Canada has c l a s s i f i e d immigrant needs in to two areas: settlement needs and i n t e g r a t i o n needs. The f i r s t few years a f t er a r r i v a l are often seen as the settlement p e r i o d . Immigrants' needs during t h i s per iod inc lude being informed about customs, laws and human r i g h t s i n Canada; f i n d i n g housing, schools and employment; and t r a i n i n g i n one of the o f f i c i a l T I C languages. 0 These serv ices are s p e c i f i c a l l y designed for immigrants, s ince Canadians u s u a l l y do not need them. Current ly there are 5 main programs under t h i s category: 1) the Adjustment Ass i s tance Program (AAP), which provides "allowances for c l o t h i n g , housing, f u r n i t u r e to people i n need for up to one year a f ter t h e i r a r r i v a l i n Canada, or u n t i l they become s e l f - s u p p o r t i n g , whichever 217 comes f i r s t ; " 2) Immigrant Settlement Adaptat ion Programs (ISAP), which grant funding for non-government organizat ions which provide serv ices for immigrants; 3) Host Programs For Refugee Settlement (HPRS); 4) the T r a n s p o r t a t i o n , Ass i s tance , and A d m i s s i b i l i t y Loan Program, which provides loans to immigrants who have d i f f i c u l t y paying for t ranspor ta t ion for t h e i r f i n a l d e s t i n a t i o n i n Canada and other costs of ge t t ing s e t t l e d i n Canada; and 5) Language I n s t r u c t i o n for New Comers (LINK), which provides b a s i c language t r a i n i n g for a l l immigrants who speak no or very l i t t l e E n g l i s h or French. Because of on-going f i n a n c i a l r e s t r a i n t s , the CIC decided i n 1994 to give p r i o r i t y to LINK on the b e l i e f that language t r a i n i n g i s e s s e n t i a l for the settlement of the immigrant, while cu t t ing 2 1 5 E. Allmen, " C o u n s e l l i n g And S e t t l e m e n t : The C u r r e n t And F u t u r e R o l e Of Mainstream And S e t t l e m e n t S e r v i c e s , " i n Proceedings Of The S e t t l e m e n t And I n t e g r a t i o n Of New Immigrants To Canada, ed., S. Y e l a j a , (Waterloo, O n t a r i o : F a c u l t y Of S o c i a l Work & Centre For S o c i a l W e l f a r e S t u d i e s , W i l f r e d L a u r i e r U n i v e r s i t y , 1988), 201. 2 1 5 S. Y e l a j a , " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " i n Proceedings Of The S e t t l e m e n t And I n t e g r a t i o n Of New Immigrants To Canada, ed., S. Y e l a j a , (Waterloo, O n t a r i o : F a c u l t y of S o c i a l Work & Centre For S o c i a l W e l f a r e S t u d i e s , W i l f r e d L a u r i e r U n i v e r s i t y , 1988), 15. 2 1 7 CIC, "Changes i n the Fees charged f o r Immigration S e r v i c e s and Changes i n the Adjustment A s s i s t a n c e Program," i n Statement by CIC M i n i s t e r j J . 1 4 A p r i l , 1994): 3., 67 the budget for AAP by l i m i t i n g e l i g i b i l i t y for the program to government-sponsored refugees. 2 1 8 Most p r o v i n c i a l governments share the cost of ISAP and LINK with the f edera l government. In contrast to settlement needs, i n t e g r a t i o n needs u s u a l l y emerge a few years a f t er a r r i v a l . By th i s t ime, most immigrants are expected to have found jobs , housing, and schools for t h e i r c h i l d r e n . As t h e i r l i v e s become much more s t a b l e , they s t a r t to miss the s o c i a l pres t ige they enjoyed i n t h e i r home countr i e s . They a lso s t a r t to r e a l i z e the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n they face i n t h e i r everyday l i v e s . However, a few years a f ter t h e i r a r r i v a l i n Canada, immigrants are expected to use mainstream serv ices for the fo l lowing two reasons: 1) because the immigrant i s considered as "no longer an immigrant or a refugee, but a Canadian, a Quebecer, a C a l g a r i a n , who has a r i g h t to be served by the mainstream serv i ce s ;" and 2)because v i o l e n c e , mental and p h y s i c a l heal th programs, family c o n f l i c t , or f i n a n c i a l programs, are not considered to be "immigrant problems," but are "people problems." However, i n r e a l i t y , these serv ices are u s u a l l y h igh ly i n a c c e s s i b l e to immigrants, because they do not provide i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , t r a n s l a t i o n , c r o s s - c u l t u r a l c o u n s e l l i n g , or lack c u l t u r a l / r e l i g i o u s knowledge and s e n s i t i v i t y to d i f f erences . C. Success and f a i l u r e of p o l i c y towards immigrants Since Canada's proclamation of "a p o l i c y of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m wi th in a b i l i n g u a l framework" i n 1971, there has been a s i g n i f i c a n t improvement i n serv ices for immigrants. Not only has the government recognized as unjust widespread d i s c r i m i n a t i o n against immigrants and v i s i b l e m i n o r i t i e s , but a l so i t has recognized that f a c i l i t a t i n g the settlement of immigrants as q u i c k l y as 720 poss ib le i s a sound investment i n Canada's fu ture . As a r e s u l t , government-sponsored settlement serv ices have developed throughout Canada. Despite the improvement, Canadian m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m p o l i c y and immigration p o l i c y have two major impediments: l ) i t has so far lacked an adequate s t r u c t u r a l 2 1 8 I b i d . 2 1 9 S. Y e l a j a , " I n t r o d u c t i o n , " 2. 220 E. Allmen, " C o u n s e l l i n g and S e t t l e m e n t : The C u r r e n t and Future Role of Mainstream and S e t t l e m e n t S e r v i c e s , " 201. framework for the implementation of such a p o l i c y ; and 2 ) i t has lacked f i n a n c i a l resources; 3) a growing oppos i t ion to m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m and immigration p o l i c y i n recent years . The f i r s t problem, a lack of s t r u c t u r a l framework, i s perhaps due to a conceptual confusion between immigrants and members of e thnic groups. This confusion i s seen i n the frequent t rans fer of j u r i s d i c t i o n over immigrants from one agency to another. T r a d i t i o n a l l y , settlement serv ices for new immigrants was a mandate of EIC which was a l so r e s p o n s i b l e . f o r the admission of immigrants and labor i s sues . At the same time, during the e a r l y 1970's, m u l t i c u l t u r a l programs were mandated to a small M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m Direc tora te of the Department of the Secretary of State under the leadership of the M i n i s t e r respons ible for 001 M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m . Although i n t e g r a t i o n of immigrants i n t o Canadian soc ie ty was one of the object ives of m u l t i c u l t u r a l p o l i c y , the M u l t i c u l t u r a l D i r e c t o r a t e had very l i t t l e to o f f er to immigrants. In order to create a more e f f i c i e n t s t ruc ture for c a r r y i n g out m u l t i c u l t u r a l p o l i c y , the Department of M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m and C i t i z e n s h i p Canada (MCC) was created i n 1991. The c i t i z e n s h i p branch of the EIC and the M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m Direc tora te of the Secretary of State were merged in to the new department. But, w i th in three years of i t s c r e a t i o n , the department was abo l i shed , fo l lowing a sweeping v i c t o r y of the L i b e r a l par ty i n the 1993 parl iamentary e l e c t i o n s . In June 1994, C i t i z e n s h i p and Immigration Canada (CIC) was created . The CIC i s mandated to deal with issues r e l a t i n g to immigration and c i t i z e n s h i p , while the labor issues are deal t with by a new department of Human Resources and Development. 2 2 2 In the meanwhile, j u r i s d i c t i o n over issues concerning m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m programs was l a r g e l y t rans ferred to the M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m d i v i s i o n of the Heritage Canada, which replaced the o l d Secretary of State . The impact of such s t r u c t u r a l changes i s not yet known. They have so lved , at l eas t t h e o r e t i c a l l y , the t r a d i t i o n a l d i v i s i o n of j u r i s d i c t i o n over immigrants between the EIC and agencies dea l ing with m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m . These changes have brought 221 F. Hawkins, "Canadian M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m : P o l i c y E x p l a i n e d , " 19. 222 CIC, " C r e a t i o n of Department of C i t i z e n s h i p and Immigration r e c e i v e s Royal A s s e n t , " i n News Re l e a s e , no. 94-54, (23 June, 1994): 1. [ 69 the admission of immigrants, settlement s e r v i c e s , and c i t i z e n s h i p r e g i s t r a t i o n in to the same department. However, s u f f i c i e n t data on the operat ion of the new departments and agencies i s not present ly a v a i l a b l e . Secondly, the government's f i n a n c i a l commitment to m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m i s not as great as i t s verba l commitment. For example, i n 1986, Canadian per cap i ta expenditure on 77\ m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m was only $1. J In a d d i t i o n , and as was mentioned e a r l i e r , very l i t t l e money i s d i r e c t e d towards programs which deal with gender i s sues . T h i r d l y , some authors po in t out that there has been growing oppos i t ion to M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m i n recent years . For example, Y. Abu-Laban notes that there has been "a much more widespread, v igorous , and organized a r t i c u l a t i o n against the p o l i c y and idea of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m " s ince 1989, as compared to the 1980's when 77i m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m was on the upswing. C r i t i c i s m has tended to focus on the u n d e s i r a b i l i t y of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , and some ethnic m i n o r i t i e s have a lso c r i t i c i z e d the p o l i c y "for i t s perce ived r o l e i n perpetuat ing , i f not aggravat ing, racism and i n e q u a l i t y . " 4 The f u l l impl i ca t ions of the growth of oppos i t ion to m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m are yet to be seen. But, because of the strong oppos i t i on , the government's p o l i t i c a l and f i n a n c i a l commitment to m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m i s not l i k e l y to grow f u r t h e r . 3. Implicat ions of both p o l i c i e s for immigrant women This sec t ion w i l l examine the i m p l i c a t i o n s these two areas of Canadian p o l i c y have for immigrant women. I t w i l l argue that , despite some c o n t r i b u t i o n s , both p o l i c i e s have come short of b r i n g i n g about ' f u l l - p a r t i c i p a t i o n ' of immigrant women i n Canadian soc ie ty and of stopping systematic v io lence against them. I t w i l l argue that p o l i c i e s aimed at women i n general often f a i l to meet the s p e c i f i c e t h n i c / l i n g u i s t i c of immigrant women, while m u l t i c u l t u r a l p o l i c i e s a l so f a i l to meet the gender- spec i f i c needs of immigrant women. I t w i l l conclude that l i 3 House of Coaaons, The S t a n d i n g C o a a i t t e e On M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , H u l t i c u l t u r a l i s a : B u i l d i n g the Canadian M o s a i c , 95. 2 2 4 Y. Abu-Laban, "The P o l i t i c s o f Race and E t h n i c i t y : M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s a as a C o n t e s t e d Arena," i n Canadian P o l i t i c s , 2d ed., eds., J . B i n c k e r t o n and A. Gagnon, (Peterborough, Ont.: broadview p r e s s , 1994), 252. 2 2 5 I b i d . , 257. For example, one s i t e o f the a o s t m i l i t a n t o p p o s i t i o n t o m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , a c c o r d i n g t o Abu-Laban, i s t h e Reform P a r t y . The p a r t y , d u r i n g t h e 1993 f e d e r a l e l e c t i o n , c a l l e d f o r a 50 p e r c e n t r e d u c t i o n i n the annual l e v e l of i m m i g r a t i o n (about 250,000). 70 the governments do not have a c l e a r consensus on the quest ion of who i s r e a l l y respons ible for the problems of immigrant women. Because of a lack of a c l ear consensus over the j u r i s d i c t i o n , immigrant women's issues are often ignored. As was mentioned e a r l i e r , the view that v io l ence against women i s one form of sexual oppression and i s r e l a t e d to gender e q u a l i t y issues i s now widely accepted by Canadian d i scourse . But, the question of how immigrant women, who are marginal ized not only because of t h e i r gender but because of t h e i r c o l o u r , language, cu l ture and n a t i o n a l o r i g i n , f i t the p i c t u r e of Canadian gender i n e q u a l i t i e s , has yet to be answered. As was mentioned i n Chapter 1, the s o c i o -p o l i t i c a l context i n which immigrant women experience v io lence i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t from the one i n which mainstream women do. But, d i s s i m i l a r i t i e s among female v ic t ims of v io lence are often ignored by Canadian i n s t i t u t i o n s . To argue that Canadian i n s t i t u t i o n s do not meet immigrant women's needs does not mean that t h e i r s p e c i f i c needs are i n t e n t i o n a l l y ignored. To the contrary , Canadian p o l i t i c a l discourse on women, at l eas t s ince the e a r l y 1980's, has been concerned with the status of minor i ty women. Mainstream feminist organizat ions have a l so supported immigrant women's demands for the recogn i t ion of t h e i r s p e c i a l needs. During the Charter debates, for example, feminists i n s i s t e d that the m u l t i c u l t u r a l clause of Sect ion 27 should not conta in a loophole that would enable c u l t u r a l communities to d i scr iminate against women i n the name of c u l t u r a l p r e s e r v a t i o n . As was mentioned, p a r t l y due to the pressures from f emin i s t s , Canada decided to i n s e r t Sect ion 28 i n the 1982 Charter . In 1987, a feminist organ iza t ion , the Legal Education and A c t i o n Fund (LEAF), worked with Spanish-speaking peoples and prepared a challenge to the federa l language t r a i n i n g p o l i c i e s that denied language t r a i n i n g to women enter ing Canada as sponsored immigrants. Since 1987, LEAF has a l so been working, i n c o a l i t i o n with immigrant women's groups on a challenge to the overtime prov i s ions i n the Employment Standards A c t , that i n fac t d i scr iminate against ??7 domestic workers who are mostly female immigrants. Due to the pressures from immigrant and mainstream women, i n recent years , S. Razak, Canadian Feminism And The Law, 34. See S. Razak, Canadian Feminism And The Law, 57; 131. 71 most p u b l i c documents have come to recognize the s p e c i a l needs of immigrant women, as wel l as other groups of women who face mul t ip l e disadvantages. For example, the CACSW i n i t s r e p o r t , Fine Balances: Equal Status For Women i n Canada i n the 1990's. categorized immigrant women as a "special-needs group," along with other groups of women such as d i s a b l e d , e l d e r l y , r u r a l , and adolescent women. 2 2 8 The report noted that "because some groups suf fer from i n j u s t i c e and in to lerance that i s so b l a t a n t , s p e c i a l e f f o r t s must be made to ensure that e q u a l i t y status for these women i s achieved." 2 2 9 Immigrant women, the report s a i d , faced not only economic i n e q u a l i t y , but a l so "soc ia l i s o l a t i o n , c u l t u r a l a l i e n a t i o n , systemic d i s c r i m i n a t i o n , and outr ight p r e j u d i c e . " 2 3 " The c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of immigrant women as a specia l -needs group has been used i n other p u b l i c documents, such as a document produced by a f edera l interdepartmental group on v i o l e n c e , Working: Together: 1989 nat iona l Forum on Family V i o l e n c e , 2 3 1 and one produced by the Canadian Panel on Vio lence Against Women. Mainstream women's organizat ions have a l so increased representat ion of immigrant women, as wel l as other specia l -needs groups. The incumbent Pres ident of the Canadian Advisory Counc i l for Status of Women, Glenda Simms, i s an immigrant woman who was born i n Jamaica. The President of the Nat ional A c t i o n Committee on the Status of Women, Sumera Thobani, i s a lso a non-white immigrant. Such a change i n mainstream feminism i s r e f l e c t e d i n p o l i c y guide l ines i n other f edera l departments. For example, the B . C . M i n i s t r y of Attorney General wrote i n i t s 1993 gu ide l ines on v io lence against women that p o l i c e must be s e n s i t i v e and accommodating when deal ing with v ic t ims /wi tness who have s p e c i a l needs . 2 3 2 I t a l so notes that c o r r e c t i o n personnel "should at a l l times be 2 2 8 CACSW, F i n e Balance: Equal S t a t u s For Women In Canada In The 1990's. (Ottawa: Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1987), 14. 2 2 9 I b i d . , 15. 2 3 0 I b i d . , 15. i J J N a t i o n a l C l e a r i n g House on F a m i l y V i o l e n c e , Working Together : 1989 N a t i o n a l Forum On F a m i l y V i o l e n c e , A summary of a May 1990 conference h e l d by the H e a l t h and Welfare Canada, Fa m i l y V i o l e n c e P r e v e n t i o n D i v i s i o n , (Ottawa: Queen's P r i n t e r , 1989). J B.C. M i n i s t r y of A t t o r n e y G e n e r a l , " V i o l e n c e A g a i n s t Women In R e l a t i o n s h i p s P o l i c y , " 9. 72 s e n s i t i v e to the s p e c i a l concerns or needs of women, i n c l u d i n g a b o r i g i n a l women, women of co lour , immigrants and refugees women, l e s b i a n s , d i sab led women" and T i l women i n r u r a l areas . S i m i l a r l y , most contemporary p u b l i c documents recognize the d i f f erence among women and the s p e c i a l needs of immigrant women. In the area of s o c i a l s e r v i c e s , there have a l so been some improvements. Funding c r i t e r i a for ISAP, for example, have r e c e n t l y changed to inc lude counse l l ing s e r v i c e s . P r i o r to the change, the counse l l ing work of people working i n s erv ices for immigrants was not recognized, and therefore was not f u n d e d . 2 3 4 The EIC argued i n i t s 1986 ISAP Guidel ine that serv ices such as in-depth s o c i a l or p sycho log ica l counse l l ing were a part of s o c i a l serv ices provided by the p r o v i n c i a l government and that the federa l government's funding of such serv ices may l ead to d u p l i c a t i o n . Immigrant women's organizat ions which provided serv ices for v ic t ims of v io lence were burdened by t h i s p r o v i s i o n separat ing i settlement serv ices from c o u n s e l l i n g . 2 3 6 Despite these improvements, up u n t i l now very few e f f e c t i v e measures have been taken i n order to deal with immigrant women's s p e c i a l needs. Immigrant women s t i l l su f fer from a l i m i t e d access to s o c i a l serv ices because of bureaucrat ic funding c r i t e r i a that categorize immigrant women e i t h e r as women or as immigrants. Canadian governments t r y to provide women with support they need when faced with v i o l e n c e . They a l so t r y to provide immigrant with support they need i n adjus t ing i n a new s o c i e t y . Immigrants women are expected to use e i t h e r one of these two areas of s o c i a l s e r v i c e s , but ne i ther pays enough a t t en t ion to or provides s u f f i c i e n t resources to t h e i r s p e c i a l needs. The o v e r - a l l f i n a n c i a l r e s t r a i n t s leave l i t t l e room for women's organizat ions to develop a d d i t i o n a l serv ices for women with s p e c i a l needs. Most mainstream organizat ions i n Vancouver, for example, provide serv ices only i n S e r v i c e s , " 208 236 2 3 3 I b i d . , 21. 2 3 4 I b i d . 235 E. A l l i e n , " C o u n s e l l i n g And S e t t l e m e n t : The c u r r e n t And F u t u r e Role Of Mainstream And S e t t l e m e n t L. MacLeod; M. S h i n , A f r a i d And F o r g o t t e n , 21. 73 E n g l i s h . Besides , program-oriented c r i t e r i a for funding l i m i t the a b i l i t y of women's groups to develop new sub-programs beyond those which are a lready funded. For example, the Vancouver Rape C r i s i s Center rece ives " m u l t i c u l t u r a l funding" for t r a n s l a t i o n . But the l i m i t e d amount of money can only deal with the t r a n s l a t i o n of manuscripts , not with the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . The center , between 1992 and 1993, rece ived some "out-reach funding" that enabled i t to h i r e two part - t ime b i l i n g u a l s t a f f e r s . However, the cost of i n t e r p r e t e r s , or cross c u l t u r a l c o u n s e l l i n g , i s not inc luded i n these funding c r i t e r i a . For organizat ions that have to depend l a r g e l y on volunteers for 24 hour c r i s i s - l i n e operat ion , i t i s , one s t a f f member says, "pure luck" for a non-Engl i sh speaking c l i e n t to catch a person who can speak her own language i n a c r i s i s s i t u a t i o n . Likewise , other women's organizat ions depend h e a v i l y on vo lunteers , members of other immigrant organ iza t ions , and sometimes members of the v i c t i m ' s fami ly , to deal with women from d i f f e r e n t e thnic backgrounds. A non-Engl i sh speaking female v i c t i m sometimes has to depend for i n t e r p r e t a t i o n on her c h i l d r e n , and i n the worst cases, her husband who i s a lso the abuser, when she deals with s o c i a l s erv ice agencies or 737 the c r i m i n a l j u s t i c e system. On top of l i n g u i s t i c obs tac les , there are c u l t u r a l and r e l i g i o u s b a r r i e r s which hamper immigrant women's a b i l i t y to use s o c i a l s e r v i c e s . Even i n cases where such organizat ions do provide i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s e r v i c e s , or where immigrant women who need help speak f luent E n g l i s h , c u l t u r a l misunderstanding by workers of such organizat ions may r e s u l t i n h u m i l i a t i o n o f immigrant women who need he lp . For example, immigrant women may f ee l l i k e outs iders when they go to s h e l t e r s , because other women i n she l t ers may complain about the way they cook t h e i r e thnic food or the way they p r a c t i c e t h e i r r e l i g i o n . Some e thnic women are accused of causing the v io lence against them because of t h e i r r e l i g i o u s norms. As has been mentioned, funds are a v a i l a b l e , through the Women's Programs, for organizat ions aiming to improve women's e q u a l i t y and to ensure women's safe ty . However, only a small percentage of the o v e r a l l funding under t h i s In response t o p r e s s u r e s from women's groups, the B.C. M i n i s t r y of A t t o r n e y General i n i t s 1993 g u i d e l i n e s noted t h a t "the spouse or c h i l d r e n s h o u l d never be used as i n t e r p r e t e r s and the name of the i n t e r p r e t e r u t i l i z e d as w e l l as the r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the p a r t i e s , i f any, s h o u l d be recorded on the f i l e . " B.C. M i n i s t r y of A t t o r n e y G e n e r a l , " V i o l e n c e A g a i n s t Women In R e l a t i o n s h i p s P o l i c y , " 9. 74 c r i t e r i o n i s d i rec t ed at immigrant or Native women's g r o u p s . 2 3 8 S i m i l a r l y , a number of taskforces and federa l i n i t i a t i v e s designed to ensure the safety of a l l women have done l i t t l e for immigrant women. For example, although the 1991 Family Vio lence I n i t i a t i v e planned to create 100 emergency housing uni ts that would provide temporary she l ter to approximately 4,000 women and t h e i r c h i l d r e n , very few she l t ers s p e c i a l i z e i n immigrant women. The I n i t i a t i v e merely suggested that M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m and C i t i z e n s h i p should provide "support for projec t s which w i l l make fami ly v io l ence prevent ion programs, serv ices and information mater ia l s more access ib le and appropriate for e t h n o - c u l t u r a l and v i s i b l e m i n o r i t i e s e s p e c i a l l y . " i J J By i m p l i c a t i o n , the I n i t i a t i v e reaff irmed that immigrant women's issues be handled through M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m programs. During the same per iod as the I n i t i a t i v e was being c a r r i e d out, the one she l t er for immigrant women i n Toronto, S h i r l e y Samaroo, was c losed down. 2 4 0 Some sa id racism prompted the c lo sure . Some sa id f i n a n c i a l mismanagement was the main cause. Whatever the cause was, the only e thnic she l t er i n Toronto was shut down. No mainstream groups engaged i n p u b l i c protes t or i n q u i r y when the government decided to p u l l out i t s f u n d i n g . 2 4 1 No funds from the I n i t i a t i v e ' s $136 m i l l i o n budget were granted to the s h e l t e r , nor for the crea t ion of a new she l t er for immigrant women. These shortcomings of these p o l i c i e s can be traced back to a lack of consensus over the quest ion of who i s r e a l l y respons ib le for immigrant women's problems. This question was addressed i n the 1986 d i scuss ion of House of Common's Standing Committee on M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m . Its members genera l ly agreed i n p r i n c i p l e that s p e c i a l a t t en t ion should be given to pro jec t s aimed at improving serv ices for immigrant women as wel l as at removing b a r r i e r s to t h e i r f u l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n Canadian soc i e ty . However, e thnic groups and m u l t i c u l t u r a l groups considered issues of immigrant women to be p r i m a r i l y women's i ssues that could be best dea l t 110 J 0 House of Commons, the S t a n d i n g Committee on M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m : B u i l d i n g the Canadian Mosaic, 37. J S t a t u s of Women Canada, L i v i n g Without Fear...Everyone's G o a l , Every Woman's R i g h t , 39. 24" L. Monsebratten, " B a t t e r e d Immigrant Women The Lose r s As Government P u l l s Funds Amid A l l e g a t i o n s of I d e o l o g i c a l d i s p u t e , " The Vancouver Sun, (28 J u l y , 1994), A7. 2 4 1 I b i d . 75 with by government agencies dealing with women's issues, such as the CACSW. For example, although the Canadian Ethno-cultural Council mentioned that language training should be made available to immigrant women regardless of their class, i t held that the CACSW should be primarily responsible for immigrant women's recommended that approximately one-third of the members of the CACSW be from ethnic and v i s i b l e minorities. 2* 3 On the other hand, the NAC, the only women's group p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the discussion, noted that many immigrant women faced the t r i p l e disadvantage of gender, e t h n i c i t y and colour. 2 4 4 I t also pointed out that different job q u a l i f i c a t i o n s were one of the major barriers to immigrant women pursuing their careers and urged that Canada recognize foreign university degrees as Canadian equivalent. 2 4 5, I t did not, however, make s p e c i f i c recommendations on ways to remove the multiple disadvantages. Rather, i t t r i e d to solve immigrant women's disadvantages within the larger context of women's issues. The NAC recommended that women's par t i c i p a t i o n i n employment be increased up to 50%. 2 4° By implication, the NAC merely reiterated the position that equality of immigrant women should be dealt with i n the larger framework of "women's equality." As a res u l t , the committee, although i t recommended that the new department of multiculturalism play "a lead role i n advancing the interests of immigrant and v i s i b l e minority women,"247 made no s p e c i f i c proposal on how Canada could approach the issue. These examples above suggest that, i n p r a c t i c a l situations, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for immigrant women i s largely granted to the authorities who deal with immigration and multiculturalism. Violence against immigrant women i s dealt with i n the larger context of women's issues, but an underlying assumption i s that issues "to ensure that th e i r concerns are given high p r i o r i t y . I I 242 I t further 242 I b i d . , 119. 243 I b i d . 244 I b i d . , 98. 245 I b i d . , 91. 246 I b i d . 247 I b i d . , 51. 76 s p e c i a l needs of immigrant women, such as i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , c r o s s - c u l t u r a l c o u n s e l l i n g , se t t l ement -re la ted needs, are not r e a l l y women's problems. In th i s way, v io lence against immigrant women i s incorporated i n t o the l arger framework of v io lence against women, but without substance. Although the e t h n i c a l l y - s p e c i f i c needs of immigrant women are supposed to be the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of m u l t i c u l t u r a l agencies and immigration a u t h o r i t i e s , they have l i t t l e to o f f er immigrant women when t h e i r concerns are r e l a t e d to gender-s p e c i f i c problems. The settlement serv ices do not u s u a l l y provide immigrant women with af fordable c h i l d - c a r e or information about women's r i g h t s . Not only i s there a ser ious lack of o r i e n t a t i o n programs for immigrants as a whole, but a l so information about women's issues i s l a r g e l y omitted during the o r i e n t a t i o n sessions that are a v a i l a b l e . A number of recommendations have been made to the government to improve the s i t u a t i o n , but so far no concrete s o l u t i o n has been found. For example, i n 1984, the Spec ia l Parl iamentary Committee on V i s i b l e M i n o r i t i e s i n Canadian Society i n i t s report e n t i t l e d E q u a l i t y Now recommended to the government that s p e c i a l a t t ent ion be given to a s s i s t i n g immigrant women and v i s i b l e minor i ty women "to become s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the economic and s o c i a l l i f e i n the community." 2 4 8 The government, i n response to t h i s recommendation, pledged to "continue to provide f i n a n c i a l ass i s tance to the vo luntary sector for pro jec t s that a s s i s t v i s i b l e minor i ty and immigrant women." 2 4 9 In order to pursue t h i s goa l , the government made the fo l lowing proposals : Funding support w i th in e x i s t i n g programs w i l l be extended to f u l f i l t h i s p r i o r i t y . In a d d i t i o n , Employment and Immigration Canada w i l l review a l l job crea t ion programs to ensure that q u a l i f y i n g c r i t e r i a do not present b a r r i e r s for v i s i b l e minor i ty and immigrants women. M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m Canada w i l l organize a committee of departments concerned with serv ices for v i s i b l e minor i ty and immigrant women. As w e l l . Heal th and Welfare Canada w i l l examine the f e a s i b i l i t y of an outreach i n i t i a t i v e to determine the perce ived needs and the l e v e l of demand for serv ices among v i s i b l e minor i ty and immigrant women. 0 M i n i s t e r of S t a t e f o r M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , Response of the Government of Canada t o E q u a l i t y Now: the Report of the S p e c i a l P a r l i a m e n t a r y Committee On V i s i b l e M i n o r i t i e s i n Canadian s o c i e t y , (Ottawa: Supply and S e r v i c e s , 1984), 2. 2 4 9 I b i d . , 3. 2 5 0 I b i d . 77 So f a r , none of the government's pledges have been f u l f i l l e d . There has been no committee of a department, nor a branch nor a d i v i s i o n on immigrant women e i ther i n the Department of S ta tus -o f Women, Heritage Canada, which i s responsible for M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , or C i t i z e n s h i p and Immigration Canada. B a r r i e r s for immigrant women i n the job market are far from having been addressed. Health and Welfare Canada d id not produce any report s p e c i f i c a l l y about immigrant women's needs. Neither does Health Canada, a new department e s tab l i shed th i s year, have any s p e c i a l p r o j e c t or any d i v i s i o n or branch for immigrant women. There have been some pro jec t s s p e c i f i c a l l y designed for immigrant and e thnic minor i ty women, as i l l u s t r a t e d above, but the number and s i z e of such p r o j e c t s i s far from s u f f i c i e n t to be taken as evidence that the government r e a l l y p r i o r i t i z e s immigrant women's i s sues . The lack of consensus among p o l i c y makers over who i s r e a l l y , r e s p o n s i b l e for immigrant women's issues have hampered immigrant women's i n i t i a t i v e s to improve t h e i r s i t u a t i o n . Many immigrant and ethnic minor i ty women's organizat ions are t r y i n g to organize themselves i n order to f i l l t h i s gap and to reach out to immigrant and e thnic minor i ty women who need the community's he lp . They are t r y i n g to define v io lence i n t h e i r own terms and to educate the p u b l i c i n t h e i r own way. For example, the Vancouver Soc ie ty for Immigrant Services i n 1992 sponsored a popular theater , i n which the audience can a l so p a r t i c i p a t e , for the purpose of p u b l i c education on wife-abuse. A coordinator says , i n t h i s way non-Engl ish speaking people can e a s i l y understand the content. But, when immigrant women's organizat ions t r y to get p u b l i c funding for programs that deal with the i ssue of v io l ence , they are often forced to j u s t i f y t h e i r programs e i t h e r as "settlement s e r v i c e s , " or "women's s e r v i c e s , " because there are no funding c r i t e r i a for "immigrant women" as such. They are often t o l d by the government that t h e i r programs against v io lence should be covered by mainstream women's serv ices because further funding of immigrant women's programs s p e c i f i c a l l y designed for v io lence against women may lead to a d u p l i c a t i o n of s e r v i c e s . Or , the immigration a u t h o r i t y may r e j e c t s a funding request from these organizat ions on the assumption that v io l ence against immigrant women i s a 78 women's problem, not an immigrants' problem. 2 5 1 Therefore such serv ices are often not e l i g i b l e for funding under the ISAP. As a r e s u l t , there i s a chronic under-funding or non-funding of groups working against v io lence against immigrant and e thnic minor i ty women. 2 5 2 They are c h r o n i c a l l y understaf fed, often with only one person deal ing with every aspect of the programs, i n c l u d i n g a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , c o u n s e l l i n g , r e f e r r a l , and communications with other groups. 2 5 3 Because the government hardly recognizes an immigrant women's organizat ion as being d i s t i n c t from e i t h e r women's organizat ions or e thnic organ iza t ions , immigrant women's organizat ions dea l ing with v io lence are only e l i g i b l e for ' p r o j e c t ' funding, while t h e i r mainstream women's counterparts are often granted ' core ' or on-going funding to o p e r a t e . 2 5 4 The funds that are a v a i l a b l e t o them are often 'channel led' or 'streamed' through other organ iza t ions , such as immigrant organ iza t ions , e thnic communities, and women's groups. The dec i s ions on f i n a n c i a l matters are sometimes made without p r i o r c o n s u l t a t i o n , making i t harder for them to make future p lans . Besides , m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m funding i s often a v a i l a b l e for "projects which educate and ' s e n s i t i z e ' " workers of mainstream s e r v i c e s , not for projec t s designed by immigrant and e thnic minor i ty women themselves. Immigrant women's communities, which operate with minimum funding or no funding, are often asked to j o i n conferences held by mainstream groups and are funded by the government. They are often asked to t rans la t e manuscripts , attend conferences and do research for them for f ree . In a d d i t i o n , programs that use e t h n i c a l l y s p e c i f i c methods or non-profess ional s e l f - h e l p groups are often questioned about t h e i r ' l eg i t imacy ' because they do not f i t government c r i t e r i a . 0 In sum, despi te some improvement, immigrant women are often stuck between 2 5 1 E. Allmen, " C o u n s e l l i n g and S e t t l e m e n t , " 200. 3 M. Shin & M. K r i s i t , V i o l e n c e A g a i n s t Immigrant and V i s i b l e M i n o r i t y Women, 45. H I For example, an immigrant women's program on w i f e - b a t t e r i n g i n Vancouver i s s t a f f e d by o n l y one person, who d e a l s w i t h more than 1,00.0 c l i e n t s a n n u a l l y . 2 5 4 I b i d . 2 5 5 I b i d . , 46. 2 5 6 E. A l l m e n , " C o u n s e l l i n g and S e t t l e m e n t , " 201. 79 the two ca tegor ies , women and immigrants. There i s no c l ear idea which p o l i c y deals with immigrant women, and there seems to be l i t t l e coordinat ion between the two. As a r e s u l t , immigrant women continue to suf fer from a lack of p o l i t i c a l support. The r e s u l t i n g i s o l a t i o n of immigrant women keeps them vulnerable to t h e i r abusers. 4. Conclusion There are several impl i ca t ions of the successes and f a i l u r e s of feminist movements i n i n f l u e n c i n g government p o l i c i e s r e l a t e d to the issue of v io lence against immigrant women. Large ly due to the feminist s truggle over the past two decades, governments recognize that v io lence against women i s one form of i n e q u a l i t y between the two sexes, and that the problem cannot be solved unless other forms of s e x - i n e q u a l i t i e s are overcome s imultaneously . As a r e s u l t , the governments have attempted to change l e g i s l a t i o n so that laws can be responsive to the r e a l i t y of v io lence from a women's point of view. The urgency of the i ssue has been addressed i n many government documents. However, ne i ther feminist movements nor government p o l i c i e s are success fu l i n addressing v io lence against immigrant women, because of the assumption that a l l women share the danger of male v io lence i n s i m i l a r ways. In r e a l i t y , the danger that immigrant women face i s not the same as that which most mainstream women face. Due to language problems, c u l t u r a l d i f ferences and rac ism, immigrant women experience v io lence d i f f e r e n t l y , while laws and s o c i a l serv ice d e l i v e r y systems are designed to serve the needs of mainstream women. C u r r e n t l y , the systems cannot adequately serve the s p e c i a l needs of immigrant women, because government funding c r i t e r i a for women's projec t s do not recognize the s p e c i a l needs of immigrant women and the l i f e and death impl i ca t ions of the v i o l e n c e . Rather, the government seems to assume that the j u r i s d i c t i o n over e t h n i c a l l y / l i n g u i s t i c a l l y - s p e c i f i c needs of immigrant women f a l l s under a u t h o r i t i e s dea l ing with immigration and/or m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m . Meanwhile, mostly due to the government's pledge to enhance Canadian m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m and to help immigrants to in tegrate themselves i n the Canadian soc i e ty , there has been some improvement i n serv ices for immigrant and ethnic m i n o r i t i e s during the past two decades. However, immigrant women are often excluded from such serv ices because of t h e i r gender. So f a r , very l i t t l e has been done to b r i n g immigrant women to f u l l y p a r t i c i p a t e i n Canadian s o c i e t y . Programs aimed at p r o t e c t i n g immigrant women from v io lence are not s u f f i c i e n t l y funded. The minuscule funds they get are streamed or channel led e i t h e r through mainstream women's organizat ions or through ethnic/ immigrant organiza t ions . The most obvious reason for t h i s i s that e thnic groups and organizat ions serv ing immigrants tend to view the i ssue of v io lence as a s p e c i f i c a l l y female problem. Although they genera l ly agree that s p e c i a l a t t ent ion must be given to immigrant women, they assume such i n i t i a t i v e should be taken by women's groups. Canadian p o l i t i c a l s tructures and programs r e f l e c t such a view. Although there have been a number of governmental i n s t i t u t i o n s that are respons ible for enhancing Canadian m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , none of these i n s t i t u t i o n s has a s p e c i a l d i v i s i o n or branch that i s respons ib le for immigrant women's i s sues . Despite the existence of a number of m u l t i c u l t u r a l programs, very few programs are targeted at gender i s sues . In t h i s way, immigrant women's issues are neglected i n the supposedly gender-neutral s e t t i n g of Canadian m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m . 81 Chapter A. Ana lys i s The main purpose of t h i s chapter i s to analyze how and why Canada f a i l s to deal with the problem of v io lence against immigrant women and suggest what i s needed to redress the f a i l u r e . For t h i s purpose, t h i s chapter w i l l f i r s t analyze how the two areas of Canadian p o l i c y — p o l i c y towards women and p o l i c y towards immigrants—deal with immigrant women's r e a l i t y i n l i g h t of the t h e o r e t i c a l bases provided i n Chapter 1. The way i n which v io lence against immigrant women f a l l s i n the crack between the two p o l i c y areas w i l l a l so be examined. In conc lus ion , th i s chapter w i l l argue that Canada may not be able to address t h i s problem unless i t comes up with p o l i c i e s s p e c i f i c a l l y designed for the needs of immigrant women, independently of those for women or immigrants. Furthermore, i t w i l l be argued that the problem of v io lence against immigrant women cannot be solved unless immigrant women's problems become "Canadian problems," rather than "women's problems" or "immigrant problems." 1. How has the government f a i l e d ? Evidence suggests that Canada, by t o l e r a t i n g the widespread phenomenon of v io lence against immigrant women, i s not l i v i n g up to i t s pledge to guarantee freedom and "the equal protec t ion" of a l l i n d i v i d u a l s i n Canada. The question of how Canada has f a i l e d can be analyzed by re turn ing to the p r i v a t e / p u b l i c dichotomy, f a l s e gender n e u t r a l i t y , the systematic nature of v io lence against a s o c i a l group, and the equal but d i f f e r e n t approach. As mentioned i n Chapter 2, there are b a s i c a l l y f i v e fac tors that make immigrant women vulnerable to v io l ence : immigration laws and r e g u l a t i o n s , s o c i a l s e r v i c e s , rac ism, job ghettos, and a lack of in format ion . In the Canadian context, there fore , v io lence against immigrant women cannot be eradicated unless the government commits i t s e l f to removing b a r r i e r s that prevent immigrant women from overcoming d i f f i c u l t i e s i n a l l of these f i v e areas . Canada cannot address the problem of v io lence against immigrant women because i t f a i l s to address the concerns of women i n each of these f ive areas . In the area of immigrant laws and r e g u l a t i o n s , the f edera l government 82 recent ly changed some regulat ions which d i scr iminated against women. Most s i g n i f i c a n t l y , the government removed a r e g u l a t i o n that had made sponsored immigrants i n e l i g i b l e for government-sponsored language t r a i n i n g . The government a lso expanded the e l i g i b i l i t y for refugee status to women who suf fered from sexual oppression i n t h e i r home c o u n t r i e s . 2 5 7 Despite these changes, there are s t i l l a number of laws and regulat ions which d i scr iminate against women. For example, the l e g a l l y b inding status of sponsorship, combined with the s ing l e head p o l i c y , undervalues immigrant women's educat ional and voca t iona l s k i l l s and t h e i r contr ibut ions to the Canadian job market. Furthermore, the fact that immigrant women with independent status are concentrated i n the low-paying sexua l ly segregated occupations, such as domestic workers and fac tory workers, does not r e f l e c t the p o t e n t i a l employabi l i ty of immigrant women. By not assess ing the p o t e n t i a l employabi l i ty of immigrant women with family c lass s ta tus , the government i s i m p l i c i t l y enhancing sex-typed job s t r a t i f i c a t i o n . Not only i s immigrant women's p o t e n t i a l employab i l i ty undermined by c o v e r t l y male-biased immigration regu la t ions , but some Canadian immigration regulat ions o v e r t l y set double standards for immigrant women. Domestic workers i n some provinces and t e r r i t o r i e s are excluded from labor prov i s ions such as over-time payment. They are forced to accept l e g a l l y b inding l i v e - i n two-year contrac t s , which most Canadians would f i n d unacceptable. The admission of minors as wives of Canadian men i s a l so a double standard, because laws p r o h i b i t men from marrying Canadian women under the marrying age. The future of immigrant women's status does not look promis ing. The recent proposed changes i n immigration laws and regulat ions are intended to cut the number of sponsored immigrants and to require a bond from a sponsor so that sponsored immigrants w i l l not use s o c i a l a s s i s tance . The bond requirement was once spiked under the Mulroney Government because of the hardships i t would impose on immigrants. Although i t i s not c l e a r at present whether t h i s proposal w i l l be enacted, the requirement of the bond to replace s o c i a l ass i s tance may have a profound impact on sponsored immigrants, who are mostly female. The For example, Canada r e c e n t l y g r a n t e d refugee s t a t u s t o a Somali woman on the b a s i s of f e a r s of g e n i t a l m u t i l a t i o n . For d e t a i l s see, Chapter 2. 83 mandatory bond required for a sponsor, i f enacted, may further increase male dominance over women wi th in the immigrant fami ly . In sum, despite the gender/ethnic neutra l language of immigration laws r e g u l a t i o n s , they r e f l e c t male/white biased assumptions. The s ing l e head p o l i c y ignores the power dynamics wi th in the fami ly ; i t overlooks the p o t e n t i a l employabi l i ty of immigrant women with fami ly c lass status and endorses t h e i r dependence on t h e i r husbands through l e g a l l y b inding sponsorship r e l a t i o n s . An underly ing assumption that supports these forms of mistreatment seems to be that what happens wi th in the family i s not p o l i t i c a l . The assumption a l t e r s the power dynamics wi th in the immigrant fami ly i n a way that may s e r i o u s l y i n t e n s i f y immigrant women's v u l n e r a b i l i t y to male v i o l e n c e . Furthermore, the LICG program can be c a l l e d both sex i s t and r a c i s t because i t sets a double standard for domestic workers, mostly female and non-white, by exc luding them from Canadian standards of p r o t e c t i o n against mistreatment i n the workplace. In the area of s o c i a l s e r v i c e s , there has been a s i g n i f i c a n t improvement over the past two decades. More p u b l i c funds are now a v a i l a b l e for immigrant serv ices than were a v a i l a b l e 20 years ago through various programs of the f e d e r a l , p r o v i n c i a l / t e r r i t o r i a l and municipal governments. How can Canadian taxpayers j u s t i f y p u b l i c spending on the settlement s e r v i c e s , which are s p e c i f i c a l l y designed for immigrants and are not needed by nat ive -born Canadians? According to the equal but d i f f e r e n t approach of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , the s ta te can provide s p e c i a l measures targeted at a s o c i a l group i f these measures are aimed at removing b a r r i e r s that prevent members of the group from becoming equal to members of the dominant group. I f we accept t h i s approach, we can argue that these measures are i n fac t an i n t e g r a l part of e q u a l i t y . This view—immigrants settlement serv ices are an i n t e g r a l part of e q u a l i t y — i s now widely accepted by Canadians. Despite the improvement, settlement serv ices are mostly gender neutra l and often lack adequate means and resources for dea l ing with women's i s sues . As a r e s u l t , most e thnic communities are not able to provide serv ices for immigrant women who are v ic t ims of male v i o l e n c e . At the same time, a lack of m u l t i - l i n g u a l s t a f f and i n s e n s i t i v i t y of s t a f f to c u l t u r a l d i f ferences l i m i t p o s s i b i l i t i e s for immigrant women who seek help from mainstream s e r v i c e s . As a r e s u l t , immigrant women have l i m i t e d serv ices a v a i l a b l e to them. In the area of racism/ethnocentrism, the federa l government has made i t c l ear that i t i s i n the s ta te ' s i n t e r e s t to eradicate racism. The government's commitment to eradicate racism/ethnocentrism i s s t i p u l a t e d i n the M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m A c t . Although the government has sponsored a number of a n t i - r a c i s m campaigns over the past decade, widespread racism has yet to be removed. Besides , the issues of the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p between racism and sexism, as wel l as of gender oppression on the bas is of c u l t u r a l values are r a r e l y discussed. N I n order to end the job g h e t t o i z a t i o n of immigrants and members of e thnic m i n o r i t i e s , Canada proclaimed the Employment Equi ty Act which j u s t i f i e d various a f f i r m a t i v e act ions as means to a t t a i n e q u a l i t y among d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l groups. In l i g h t of the "equal but d i f f e r e n t " paradigm of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , these measures are now viewed as an i n t e g r a l part of e q u a l i t y . Although the e f fec t s of the Act are yet to be seen, these a f f i rmat ive measures have not so far brought about equal p a r t i c i p a t i o n of immigrant women i n the job market. I t i s not c l e a r how e f f e c t i v e these measures w i l l be s ince they only apply to crown corporat ions and companies with large government contract s . Furthermore, even i f immigrant women have good q u a l i f i c a t i o n s from t h e i r home countr ies they are often not recognized, e s p e c i a l l y i f they are from non-white, non-Engl i sh speaking countr i e s . U n t i l t h e i r q u a l i f i c a t i o n s are more widely accepted as equivalent to s i m i l a r Canadian q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , i t i s u n l i k e l y that a f f i r m a t i v e ac t ion can lead to equal job representat ion for immigrant women as a whole. F i n a l l y i n the area of access to in format ion , immigrant women are s t i l l s u f f e r i n g from a lack of in format ion , e s p e c i a l l y on women's r i g h t s and emergency he lp . P a r t l y due to the pressure from immigrant women's organ iza t ions , the government has recent ly produced booklets for immigrants, exp la in ing what to expect i n Canada and how to get he lp . Some of these booklets inc lude a b r i e f explanation of women's r i g h t s . However, p a r t l y because Canada lacks adequate means to d i s t r i b u t e these m a t e r i a l s , p a r t l y because these mater ia l s are not r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e for those immigrant women who do not speak e i t h e r one of o f f i c i a l languages, many immigrant women are s t i l l not provided with information e s s e n t i a l for t h e i r s u r v i v a l i n Canada e s p e c i a l l y when they experience v io lence 85 at home. At the same time, male immigrants are not provided with proper information on Canadian values of sexual e q u a l i t y . The lack of information a v a i l a b l e for male immigrants a l so impedes immigrant f a m i l i e s ' search for a l t e r n a t i v e s to v i o l e n c e . Vio lence against immigrant women takes place wi th in a p o l i t i c a l s t ruc ture that allows such u n f a i r treatment. According to Young, what i s behind v io lence i s power s t r u c t u r e s . As i l l u s t r a t e d above, immigrant women, as a s o c i a l group, face systematic oppress ion, def ined by Young as "the i n s t i t u t i o n a l cons tra in t on s e l f -development." " ° At the time of immigrat ion, immigrant women face cons tra in t s on the self-development, as a consequence of s tate regulat ions which undervalue t h e i r a b i l i t i e s and impose sponsorship r e l a t i o n s that are i n fac t male biased; a f ter immigration, female immigrants have l i t t l e access to s o c i a l serv ices and are often stuck i n sexual ly and r a c i a l l y / e t h n i c a l l y segregated low-paying jobs; they are not s u f f i c i e n t l y informed of t h e i r r i g h t s and of the help a v a i l a b l e to them. These i n s t i t u t i o n a l cons tra int s have ser ious a f f ec t s on the l i v e s of immigrant women e s p e c i a l l y when they experience v i o l e n c e . Because these i n s t i t u t i o n a l cons tra int s s i g n i f i c a n t l y l i m i t immigrant women's self-development and choices i n t h e i r l i v e s , they often f i n d no way of escaping from v i o l e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s with t h e i r partners and/or employers. O v e r a l l , despi te some improvement, Canada has not so far provided immigrant women with adequate means and resources so that they can overcome s t r u c t u r a l oppression they face i n t h e i r everyday l i v e s and the r e s u l t i n g v u l n e r a b i l i t y to male v i o l e n c e . Young, J u s t i c e and the P o l i t i c s of D i f f e r e n c e . 37. 86 2. Why has the government fa i l ed? As we have seen so f a r , some feminis t ideas , such as the p u b l i c / p r i v a t e dichotomy, fa l se gender n e u t r a l i t y , and the systematic nature of v io lence against women, can provide p a r t i a l answers to the question of why Canada has f a i l e d . However, these ideas do not answer the question of why immigrant women occupy a lower job stratum than mainstream women or male immigrants. These ideas do not answer the quest ion of why some measures designed to improve the status of women as a whole do not improve immigrant women's status r e l a t i v e to mainstream women, or why some measures designed to improve the status of immigrants do not improve immigrant women's status r e l a t i v e to t h e i r male counterparts . This sec t ion w i l l argue that the f a i l u r e of Canadian governments cannot be f u l l y analyzed by e i t h e r feminist or m u l t i c u l t u r a l perspect ives because these two perspect ives lack ins igh t s i n dea l ing with the i n t e r s e c t i o n of various forms of oppress ion. In order to pursue t h i s g o a l , I w i l l b r i e f l y analyze three areas , feminism, m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m and the crack i n between the two. A. Feminism Canadian p o l i c i e s towards women have improved s i g n i f i c a n t l y over the past two decades. E s p e c i a l l y the 1983 changes i n l e g i s l a t i o n have brought a wider range of choices for women who decide to take l e g a l ac t i on against the v io lence they experience. At the same time, Canadian feminist a c t i v i s t s , e s p e c i a l l y s ince the 1980's, have attempted to address the d i f f erence e t h n i c i t y makes to women's circumstances. During the heated debates that preceded the entrenchment of the Charter , for example, feminists argued that "the notwithstanding clause" o f Sect ion 33 and "the m u l t i c u l t u r a l clause" of Sect ion 27 should not v i o l a t e the bas ic human r i g h t s of women. The i n s e r t i o n of Sect ion 28, which guarantees gender e q u a l i t y , i s an obvious v i c t o r y for Canadian feminism i n pro tec t ing the r i g h t s of e thnic minor i ty women. Likewise , the LEAF has been working with immigrant women's communities i n t h e i r f i g h t against i n e q u a l i t y . The change i n regulat ions concerning e l i g i b i l i t y for government-sponsored language programs i s 87 one of many examples of how feminis t c o a l i t i o n s have s u c c e s s f u l l y in f luenced government dec i s i ons . At the same time, f emin i s t s ' recogniza t ion of d i f f erences among women and of s p e c i a l needs for some sub-groups of women i s r e f l e c t e d i n recent government p o l i c i e s . In recent years , most p u b l i c documents on v io l ence against women mention "spec ia l needs groups" that re f er to immigrant women, along with other groups of women such as women with d i s a b i l i t i e s , e l d e r l y women, women l i v i n g i n a remote areas , and A b o r i g i n a l women. But, i n r e a l i t y , very l i t t l e means and resources are a l l o c a t e d to p r o j e c t s designed for the "spec ia l needs" of immigrant women. Canada has yet to o f f er adequate means and resources to immigrant women who are v i c t ims or p o t e n t i a l v ic t ims of v i o l e n c e . As was mentioned i n Chapter 2, the s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l context i n which immigrant women experience v io lence i s s u b s t a n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t from that i n which mainstream Canadian women experience i t . The previous chapters have provided evidence to back up the c la im that Canada t rea t s immigrant women's i ssue i n "an a d d i t i v e way." Discuss ions during the w r i t i n g of the M u l t i c u l t u r a l Act are one example of t h i s . During the d i s c u s s i o n s , the NAC mentioned the "mult iple disadvantages" of immigrant women and argued that the forthcoming Act should ensure women's i n t e r e s t s i n t h i s regard. However, on the i ssue of job representa t ion , the NAC merely r e i t e r a t e d i t s p o s i t i o n that women's representat ion i n job markets should be increased to 50%. There was no mention of pos s ib l e measures aimed at he lp ing immigrant women overcome such "mult iple disadvantages" e s p e c i a l l y i n the job force . Of course, we cannot a t t r i b u t e t h i s outcome only to the f a i l u r e of feminis t movement. Most mainstream women's organizat ions suf fer from o v e r a l l f i n a n c i a l r e s t r a i n t s that threaten t h e i r own s u r v i v a l , l eav ing them l i t t l e room to pay s p e c i a l a t t en t ion to sub-groups of women. At the same time, the soc io -p o l i t i c a l s tatus of Canadian women i s s t i l l lower than men: women are p a i d less than men and women's representat ion i n p o l i t i c s remains minimal . The weakness of women's s tatus as a whole i s r e f l e c t e d i n the p o l i t i c a l s t ruc tures dea l ing with women's i s sues . The Department of the Status for the Women, for example, has not become a f u l l department with power to i n i t i a t e b i l l s . Governmental funds for women's p r o j e c t s are l i m i t e d . The Canadian feminis t movement has a d i f f i c u l t task i n balancing f i n a n c i a l and p o l i t i c a l r e s t r a i n t s with demands from sub-groups of women with "spec ia l needs." However, the o v e r a l l weakness of Canadian women's status r e l a t i v e to men does not exp la in why immigrant women occupy a lower socio-economic status than do mainstream Canadian women. Mainstream feminis t theories do not o f f er us meaningful analyses of why th i s problem ex i s t s and how i t can be so lved . Despite the fac t that contemporary mainstream feminism recognizes d i f ferences among women, i t has not yet found an a l t e r n a t i v e theory that can deal with the m u l t i p l i c i t y of disadvantages that immigrant women experience. This po int i s expressed by S. Razak. She notes that Canadian feminis t projec t s have not pa id ser ious a t t e n t i o n to the m u l t i p l e disadvantages that immigrant women face. One assumption that has formed the bedrock of feminis t p r o j e c t s , Razak w r i t e s , i s the not ion that a l l women share a core of oppress ion. For example, she notes that because LEAF has focused on sexism i n i t s most "contaminated" form, i t has only been p o s s i b l e to deal with race oppression "in an a d d i t i v e way." She notes: That i s , domestic workers of colour are considered oppressed as women and as minor i ty workers; sexism i s seen as separate from racism. This a n a l y t i c a l approach leads to a fundamental misunderstanding of the r e a l i t i e s of women who experience t h e i r m u l t i p l e oppression simultaneously S i m i l a r l y , sexual harassment or rape cases "complicated" by issues of racism w i l l demand d i f f e r e n t d e s c r i p t i o n s of women's s exua l i ty and men's abuse of i t . Razak fur ther notes that "the need to use a n a l y t i c a l models that are based on the i n d i v i s i b i l i t y and s imul tane i ty of oppression i s more than j u s t t h e o r e t i c a l q u i b b l i n g . " Feminism, according to Razak, w i l l be unable to present var ious women's r e a l i t i e s i n a l l t h e i r complex i t ies , " i f gender remains the prism through T C I which a l l other oppression i s viewed." The i n a b i l i t y of feminis t theor ies to deal with racism/ethnocentrism i s r e f l e c t e d i n Canadian p o l i c i e s towards women. Despite the s i g n i f i c a n t improvement i n Canadian p o l i c y towards v io l ence against women over the past two decades, Canada has not yet found meaningful ways to redress the problem of v io lence against immigrant women. The f a i l u r e of the s tate can be a t t r i b u t e d p a r t l y to the government's lack of adequate ana lys i s of and a t t e n t i o n to the mul t ip l e 2 5 9 S. Razak, Canadian Feminism and t h e Law, 133. 2 6 0 I b i d . 2 6 1 I b i d . disadvantages immigrant women face i n Canada, and p a r t l y to the fac t that feminist t h e o r i e s , which inf luence i t s a c t i o n s , view immigrant women's problems as something a d d i t i v e to gender problems. B. M u l t i c u l t u r a l Perspect ives Canada's commitment to m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m p o l i c y over the past two decades has contr ibuted to the improvement of some aspects of immigrant women's l i v e s i n Canada. In l i g h t of the "equal but d i f f e r e n t " paradigm of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , s p e c i a l measures designed s p e c i f i c a l l y for the needs of immigrants, such as settlement s e r v i c e s , are now considered to be an i n t e g r a l par t of Canada's commitment to e q u a l i t y . Despite the growing oppos i t ion to m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m and immigration i n recent years , the idea that some groups deserve s p e c i a l measures seems to be genera l ly accepted by Canadian s o c i e t y . However, Canadian m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m p o l i c y i s mainly focused on ways to accommodate d i f f e r e n t cu l tures i n a m u l t i c u l t u r a l soc i e ty and i s not designed to inf luence the ways i n which these d i f f e r e n t cu l tures a f f e c t the l i v e s of women. Women's i s sues , such as v io lence against women, have always occupied a marginal place i n Canadian m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m p o l i c y . Although there i s no evidence to suggest that the shortcoming of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m i s a r e s u l t of the shortcomings of theories of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m , theories of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m do not provide meaningful analyses of how gender issues r e l a t e to m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m . The i n a b i l i t y of m u l t i c u l t u r a l theories to deal with gender issues i s r e f l e c t e d i n p o l i c i e s i n two ways: 1)governments seem to have considered the problem of v io lence against immigrant women ,to be a gender issue which can be deal t with through women's programs; and 2) governments p a s s i v e l y accept c u l t u r a l norms which oppress women by not a c t i v e l y i n v e s t i g a t i n g the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p between cu l ture and gender oppress ion. F i r s t l y , m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m t h e o r i s t s seem to assume that v io lence against women i s a women's i ssue that can be best dea l t with by feminis t t h e o r i e s . This view seems to be r e f l e c t e d i n a c t u a l m u l t i c u l t u r a l programs. At the same time, e thn ic communities are too busy with other p r i o r i t i e s — m a i n l y the c u l t u r a l preservat ion and economic p r o s p e r i t y of t h e i r members. They lack means and resources to help immigrant women deal with 90 t h e i r mul t ip l e disadvantages. As a r e s u l t , programs and organizat ions that are designed to support immigrant women who are v ic t ims of v io lence and/or to protec t them from v io lence are funded poor ly or not funded at a l l . Funds for m u l t i c u l t u r a l programs are often d i rec t ed to f e s t i v a l s , e thnic language courses, and h i s t o r i c a l p r e s e r v a t i o n , but not often to workshops for immigrant women involved i n v i o l e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Such workshops would al low women invo lved i n v i o l e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s to speak up about t h e i r experience of v io l ence or oppression i n Canada, and to explore poss ib le connections between t h e i r c u l t u r a l values and v i o l e n c e . Secondly, m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m theories pose some questions when c u l t u r a l values are i n c o n f l i c t with i n d i v i d u a l i n t e r e s t s . What can the s tate do when ethnic groups ask for respect for c u l t u r a l values that are i n fac t d i s c r i m i n a t o r y against women? Does the state have the r i g h t to intervene on the bas is of gender oppression? Neither Kymlicka nor Glazer gives adequate answers and these questions' are l e f t to be explored f u r t h e r . The shortcoming of m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m theories i n dea l ing with gender oppression i s r e f l e c t e d i n p o l i c i e s . Even though c u l t u r a l norms which oppress women are known to ex i s t i n Canada, governments do not seem to have done anything about them. The governments' i n a c t i o n can be t r a n s l a t e d in to passive acceptance. Not only do Canadian governments f a i l to address c u l t u r a l norms that oppress women, s o c i a l workers i n general are re luc tant to cross c u l t u r a l boundaries . P o l i c e o f f i c i a l s and serv ice prov iders are often re luc tant to intervene i n wife b a t t e r i n g on behal f of immigrant women, b e l i e v i n g that to do so would v i o l a t e c u l t u r a l boundaries . 2 " 2 The end r e s u l t i s that immigrant women trapped i n v i o l e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s have nowhere to t u r n . C. Cracks between the two As we have seen, both feminism and m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m perspect ives have f a l l e n short of adequately dea l ing with the combination of gender and e t h n i c i t y . CPVAW, Changing the Landscape: Ending V i o l e n c e - A c h i e v i n g E q u a l i t y , 90. 91 The inadequacy of both areas of thought i s r e f l e c t e d i n ac tua l p o l i c i e s towards women and immigrants. There i s much evidence to show how immigrant women f a l l in to th i s t h e o r e t i c a l crack. Although the context i n which immigrant women experience v io lence i s d i f f e r e n t from that of mainstream Canadian women and male immigrants, immigrant women, when deal ing with s tate s t r u c t u r e s , are often forced to choose between the two i d e n t i t i e s , 'women' or ' immigrant . ' Bureaucrat ic c r i t e r i a for serv ice and fund e l i g i b i l i t y enhance t h i s schizophrenic approach. As was mentioned before , governmental funds a v a i l a b l e for women's programs do not usua l ly inc lude budgets for i n t e r p r e t a t i o n or c r o s s - c u l t u r a l c o u n s e l l i n g , unless an organ iza t ion , which sponsors the programs, receives core-funding and has freedom to a l l o c a t e i t s budget to serve immigrant women's needs. At the same time, funds for immigrant serv ices do not u s u a l l y recognize s p e c i a l needs for women, and as a r e s u l t , i ssues not d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to "immigrant sett lement," such as v i o l e n c e , are i n s u f f i c i e n t l y funded. S i m i l a r l y , s o - c a l l e d m u l t i c u l t u r a l funds are provided for e thnic groups mainly for the purpose of preserv ing and enhancing e thnic o r i g i n s as wel l as i n t e g r a t i n g t h e i r members in to Canadian soc i e ty . V io l ence , because i t i s often viewed as a women's i s sue , i s not a p r i o r i t y . One s o c i a l worker who runs a battered women's support program for immigrant women i n Vancouver t o l d me that she was t o l d by immigration o f f i c i a l s that the issue of wife ba t t er ing should be deal t with wi th in the admin i s t ra t ive framework of 'women.* S t i l l others t o l d her, she s a i d , that s ince her organ iza t ion was already funded by the f edera l government through ISAP, her program cannot be regarded as a women's program. As a r e s u l t , she was forced to determine whether her serv ice was for 'immigrants' or 'women.' While i t i s so obvious that immigrant women are both 'immigrants' and 'women,' a r b i t r a r y admin i s t ra t ive d i s t i n c t i o n s between the two often l a b e l them as one or the other . Government f a i l u r e to change the s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l s t ruc ture i n a way that empowers immigrant women i s p a r t l y due to the conceptual crack between the two concepts. 92 3. What can the s tate do to stop v io lence against immigrant women? Three reasons compels the Canadian s tate to address the problem of v io lence against immigrant women. F i r s t l y , i t i s the s ta te ' s duty and i n t e r e s t to provide equal p r o t e c t i o n to a l l i n d i v i d u a l s . The p r i n c i p l e s of u n i v e r s a l e q u a l i t y and p r o t e c t i o n of freedoms for a l l are the main p i l l a r s of democracy, no matter how one defines these terms. Canada's strong commitment to these p r i n c i p l e s i s manifested i n various laws, r egu la t ions , and p o l i c y papers. Secondly, the promotion of to lerance for the d i v e r s i t y of i t s c i t i z e n s i s i n Canada's i n t e r e s t . Canada's p o s i t i o n on m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m — i t s acceptance of d i v e r s i t y as a na t iona l her i tage and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c and i t s commitment to eradicate d i s c r i m i n a t i o n — i s declared i n the M u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m Act of 1988. Therefore , Canada has a s ta tutory o b l i g a t i o n to promote e q u a l i t y and provide p r o t e c t i o n for a l l i n d i v i d u a l s , as wel l as to enhance Canada's m u l t i c u l t u r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Despite the general consensus on p r i n c i p l e s , there i s a d i s p a r i t y between p r i n c i p l e and p r a c t i c e . This d i s p a r i t y i s s e l f - e v i d e n t when we examine the i ssue of v io lence against immigrant women. The way that immigrant women are treated by p o l i t i c a l s tructures makes one doubt that the s tate perceives the problems of immigrant women as a Canadian problem, but rather sees them as an immigrant problem or a women's problem. What seems to be l ack ing i s what Kymlicka c a l l s "a shared i d e n t i t y or s o l i d a r i t y " that allows us to perce ive immigrant women's problems as ours , not t h e i r s . So f a r , Canadians have come up with shared va lues , such as e q u a l i t y and p r o t e c t i o n for a l l , the enhancement of m u l t i c u l t u r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , gender e q u a l i t y , e t c . There are , as Kymlicka would say, precondi t ions for an e g a l i t a r i a n c i t i z e n s h i p . But, there i s so far no evidence to suggest that Canadians have "a shared i d e n t i t y " as such when i t comes to perce iv ing immigrant women as equal partners i n Canadian c i t i z e n s h i p . What can the state do i n order to create a more i n c l u s i v e c i t i z e n s h i p which inc ludes immigrant women as equal partners? The f a i l u r e of the s tate may be p a r t l y due to a lack of a shared i d e n t i t y among Canadians that allows us to view 93 t h e i r problems as ours , as Kymlicka may argue. But, Kymlicka's argument does not quite catch the complicated power s t ruc ture that immigrant women experience i n Canada, because immigrant women as such are almost non-existent i n p o l i t i c a l discourse and therefore t h e i r problem i s not qui te "our problem" i n the f i r s t p lace . In order for immigrant women's problems to become "Canadian problems," "the ir problems" must f i r s t become an e x p l i c i t par t of p o l i t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n . There has been p u b l i c discourse on "violence against women" or "oppression of e thnic m i n o r i t i e s . " But, so f a r , very few cases of v io l ence against immigrant women have become subjects of p u b l i c d iscourse This absence of p u b l i c a t t en t ion may be p a r t l y due to a lack i n people 's minds of the category of "immigrant women" as such. So f a r , there i s no theory that can deal with the combination: immigrant women have "no theory of the state" because the group has not gained p o l i t i c a l l eg i t imacy as an independent category. I t i s exact ly because of t h i s lack of category that immigrant women's problems are ignored or dismissed as a s i d e - i s s u e . Unless there i s a theory that can deal with "immigrant women's problems" i n the context i n which they experience oppress ion, and unless there i s a consensus that t h e i r problems e x i s t not i n ' a d d i t i v e ' ways to other types of oppress ion, but on t h e i r own terms, the s tate can continue to t rea t immigrant women i n an ' e i t h e r - o r ' manner. To suggest that immigrant women need a theory that can define t h e i r problems on t h e i r own terms i s by no means to argue that feminism and m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m have nothing to contr ibute to the ana lys i s of immigrant women. Rather, i t i s to argue that immigrant women as a s o c i a l group need to have "a new a n a l y t i c a l category" so that t h e i r problems are not analyzed i n an ' e i t h e r - o r ' manner. Immigrant women are both 'immigrants' and 'women,' even i f admin i s t ra t ive d i s t i n c t i o n s can deal with them only as e i t h e r one or the other . These a r b i t r a r y d i s t i n c t i o n s themselves show male or e thnocentr ic b iases . As a r e s u l t , immigrant women are reduced to something ' a d d i t i v e ' to e i ther one of the two. To argue that the admin i s tra t ive d i s t i n c t i o n i s b iased , does not n e c e s s a r i l y suggest that a new department of immigrant women or a new min i s ter respons ible for immigrant women must be created i n a d d i t i o n to the e x i s t i n g p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e s . Rather, i t i s to argue that , Canada needs a u n i f i e d and coherent p o l i c y for dea l ing with immigrant women. The precondi t ion to a u n i f i e d and coherent p o l i c y i s an e laborated theory that can deal with the problem of v io lence against immigrant women on i t s own terms. The problems of immigrant women must f i r s t be i d e n t i f i e d and recognized as d i s t i n c t . Of course, an i n i t i a t i v e for a new theory must come from immigrant women themselves. However, i n the process of t h e i r s truggle to f i n d an adequate theory and an adequate means to define and solve t h e i r problems, support from a c t i v i s t s of feminism and m u l t i c u l t u r a l i s m i s e s s e n t i a l . The systematic oppression of immigrant women i n i t s e l f i s nothing but unjust . However, i f we lack conceptual means to l earn why they are oppressed i n Canada and how they can overcome t h e i r problems, how can they know that they can do something about t h e i r suf fer ing? In order to br ing about the f u l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n of immigrant women i n Canadian s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l l i f e , there fore , a new t h e o r e t i c a l framework i s needed so that t h e i r problems can be defined and analyzed on t h e i r own terms. 95 Conclusion This thesis has so far shown that the lack of theoretical category "immigrant women" has placed them into an abyss between 'women1 and 'immigrants.' I t has shown that, while i t i s the combination of f i v e factors—immigration laws and regulations, a lack of information, a lim i t e d access to so c i a l services, racism, and sexually and r a c i a l l y / e t h n i c a l l y segregated job market—that makes immigrant women vulnerable to male violence, there i s so far no theory that can adequately deal with this combination. The most serious ramification of th i s lack of a theory on the state policy i s that i t reduces immigrant women's i d e n t i t i e s to either immigrant or women, while they are obviously both immigrant and women. In the l i g h t of this analysis, I w i l l re-examine the f i r s t question of why the Canadian system has f a i l e d i n dealing with immigrant women. In the Introduction, I l i s t e d three p o s s i b i l i t i e s : the f i r s t i s that Canadian i n s t i t u t i o n s help to sustain sexist and/or r a c i s t practices either overtly or covertly; the second i s that the state i s reluctant to r e s t r i c t c u l t u r a l values that oppress women; the t h i r d i s that the state t r i e s to protect immigrant women from violence, but does not know how or does not have adequate means to deal with the problem. The f i r s t hypothesis i s v a l i d to a certain extent. The fact that immigrant women, as such, are v i r t u a l l y absent from p o l i t i c a l discussions i s a r e f l e c t i o n of sexist and/or r a c i s t biases. These biases are reflected i n actual p o l i c i e s that allow obvious double standards and have adverse impacts on immigrant women. The second hypothesis, that the system f a i l e d because of the state's reluctance to intervening i n c u l t u r a l values that oppress women, i s more complicated than the f i r s t one. After a l l , since immigrant women's problems, independently from those of women or immigrants, are v i r t u a l l y absent from p o l i t i c a l discourse, the state has had a minor role to play. At the same time, we have seen a number of cul t u r a l norms that are unfriendly to women, or contradictory to basic Canadian values of equality and of protecting c i v i l r i g h t s . The implications these values 96 have for immigrant women i n Canada are yet to be examined. At t h i s moment, there i s not s u f f i c i e n t data to conclude that c u l t u r a l norms which oppress women p lay a major r o l e i n Canadian s o c i e t y . There have been a number of s tudies on the r e l a t i o n s h i p s between c u l t u r e and v io lence i n d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r e s , but the impacts of c u l t u r e on v io lence against women i n the Canadian s e t t i n g has yet to be revea led . However, the f a c t that some c u l t u r a l values which oppress women have r a r e l y become an issue for p u b l i c discourse i s evidence that the s tate i s not taking an i n i t i a t i v e . By i m p l i c a t i o n , the s ta t e , although unconsciously , i s neg lec t ing immigrant women who are v ic t ims or p o t e n t i a l v ic t ims of v i o l e n c e . At the every l e a s t , the s tate i s g u i l t y of not tak ing leadership i n researching t h i s area. The t h i r d hypothesis , that the system has f a i l e d because i t does not know how to or does not have adequate means for dea l ing with the problems, can be explored i n government statements and documents. As was mentioned i n the previous chapters , a number of p u b l i c documents mention immigrant women i n a l i s t of "specia l needs groups" or "mult iply disadvantaged groups." The frequent mention of "specia l needs group" i n p u b l i c documents ind ica te s that pol icy-makers are at l eas t aware that immigrant women deserve more p o l i t i c a l a t t e n t i o n . Despite the awareness, governments have so far done very l i t t l e to improve t h e i r s o c i a l s ta tus . There are two p o s s i b l e answers to why Canada does not act on the problem even i f i t i s aware of the s p e c i a l needs of immigrant women. One p o s s i b l e answer i s that pol icy-makers consider immigrant women's problems to be "not -rea l ly -Canadian" and, there fore , i n s i g n i f i c a n t . This p o s s i b i l i t y i s p l a u s i b l e , cons ider ing the growing oppos i t ion to immigrants i n recent years . But, there i s no s u f f i c i e n t data to v e r i f y i t . The second p o s s i b i l i t y i s that governments do not know how to ac t . It has been argued that the government's i n a c t i o n i n improving immigrant women's status can be a t t r i b u t e d to the lack of a p o l i t i c a l theory that can deal with immigrant women as a s o c i a l group, independent from women or immigrants. In f a c t , the evidence i n the previous chapters shows that c u r r e n t l y the only way governments can deal with the i ssues of immigrant women i s i n d i r e c t l y v i a the categories of 'women' or ' immigrants . ' Thus, even i f we assume that pol icy-makers want to do something about immigrant 97 women o r , even i f governments are i n fac t doing something to improve the s i t u a t i o n for immigrant women, t h e i r act ions are bound to have l i m i t e d e f f e c t . As i s shown, a l l of these three hypotheses are v a l i d to a c e r t a i n extent. The system i s f a i l i n g immigrant women who face v io lence i n t h e i r l i v e s because of a combination of these three . What i s behind a l l of these reasons i s the t h e o r e t i c a l confusion that forces immigrant women i n t o the f a l s e dichotomy between immigrant and women. Unless a new concept of immigrant women i s explored, immigrant women w i l l continue to suf fer from c o n f l i c t s between the two i d e n t i t i e s . And the s tate has a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to support immigrant women i n t h e i r search for t h e i r own theory of s ta te . A quest for a new theory i s u l t i m a t e l y i n the s ta te ' s i n t e r e s t as i t should help i n analyz ing the s t a t e ' s r o l e i n dea l ing with people of m u l t i p l e i d e n t i t i e s , not only immigrant women, but a lso people of other sub-groups. Without such a theory a coherent p o l i c y for dea l ing with t h i s issue i s not p o s s i b l e . 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