African Women Refugees

2011 August African Women Refugees
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Grace Samuel-Oryem

Grace is a Sudanese woman who has been in Australia since 2007. Since then she has worked to help refugee women become more self-reliant by encouraging them to participate in training workshops and develop their skills.

This article presents a summarised overview of aspects of African culture that might have an ongoing influence on African women refugees settling in Australia, so that others may have an understanding of some of the challenges for African refugee women.

She writes about the impact of traditional gender roles, the importance of family and community, attitudes and expectations, and also expectations around marriage. Then, after arriving in Australia, women find that the chance to settle and make connections in their new community is not straightforward. She details some of the challenges and explains why integration into Australian society is so important to reduce feelings of isolation and failure.