By Dr. Bushra Sabri
Immigrant women account for more than half of the US’s total immigrant population – and this population is growing. According to a report by the American Immigration Council (2020), there are more than 23 million immigrant women in the United States. As a result, there is a growing need to address issues specific to their health and safety.
Women face challenges in the form of traditional role expectations, rigid gender norms, abuse, gender inequality, and lack of social support. The intersection of multiple social identities, such as race and social class, further drives disparities in the health and safety of immigrant women.
This calls for culturally informed interventions that meet the needs of immigrant women, especially those who are isolated and unable to utilize in-person services. Many women face transportation challenges, are without local resources, or lack knowledge of these resources. Technology-based interventions can be very useful in connecting women and providing them with remote support.
The It’s weWomen Plus study
At the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Assistant Professor Dr. Bushra Sabri is leading a research study called It’s weWomen Plus (IWWP). This study aims to better understand and serve the needs of immigrant women facing health and safety challenges. In particular, this study will test the effectiveness of a trauma-informed, culturally-tailored intervention.
This intervention is designed to empower women to make informed decisions about their relationships, health, and safety. Practitioners working in a variety of settings will be able to use the results from this study to inform their work with immigrant women.
The results will also support the immigrant health initiative, which focuses on designing and implementing effective interventions to reduce health inequities among immigrant populations. Our vision is a world where all women – regardless of race, ethnicity, class, or status – have safer, healthier, happier, and more empowered lives.
Participating in the study
As part of the study, women answer a series of online questions related to their level of risk, safety, and health. These women then receive relevant information and resources. Women with additional needs, such as those who continue to experience health and safety-related challenges, have the option to receive further support via text messages and phone calls.
Women interested in participating can visit our website to see if they are eligible. Participants can access the study from any location with internet access and at any time that is convenient for them. Each participant can receive up to $160 over the course of the study. This study has been reviewed and approved by the Johns Hopkins University Institutional Review Board (IRB).
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Source: American Immigration Council (2020), Immigration women and girls in the United States: A portrait of demographic diversity. Accessed from https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/immigrant-women-and-girls-united-states