Engaging Immigrant Women in the Legal System – Final Report


During a time of increased cutbacks in accessible legal services, particularly legal aid, Immigrant women survivors of violence and abuse are faced with further barriers in navigating the justice system. The impact of abuse, migration and discrimination on Immigrant women’s lives make Immigrant women particularly vulnerable to further victimization by the justice system.

The aim of the EIWITLS project is to make public the voices of Immigrant women through their active engagement in analyzing systemic legal issues from their experiences and perspectives. We strongly believe that engaging Immigrant women has better equipped us to develop strategies that effectively address the barriers women face. The ultimate goal of the EIWITLS project has been to create systemic change in the legal system through empowerment of Immigrant women and a strong community response to legal barriers.

The structure of the project is built on an empowerment model informed by feminist and anti-oppression frameworks. We believe that the experiences of women, their narratives and voices need to be part of any initiative which intends to address Immigrant women’s issues.

The process of empowerment is an essential aspect of social justice initiatives; hence, the involvement of Immigrant women has been sought in all aspects of the project.  By engaging Immigrant women in the process of researching, identifying issues and creating relevant legal resources for their communities, the project has built on the capacity of Immigrant women to take on a leadership role in their communities.

The outcome of this engagement is threefold; firstly, the project has been successful in building on the capacity of Immigrant women to become resourceful leaders in their communities. Immigrant women are often consulted by and provide support to other women in their social networks.  Since legal information and resources are often inaccessible to Immigrant women, inaccurate assumption regarding the law is usually prevalent. Furthermore, Immigrant women are often unaware of available social and legal services for women.   The Self Advocacy Trainings and other legal trainings conducted in these communities, offered accurate, relevant and language specific legal information to women. To read the report, click this link:  BWSS_Engaging_Immigrant_Women_in_the_Legal_System

Engaging Immigrant Women in the Legal System Initiative has been made possible with funding from The Law Foundation of BC and My Sister’s Closet Social Enterprise of Battered Women’s Support Services