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Afghan women perceptions of gender roles, possibilities and barriers to change after settlement in Australia: A qualitative study
journal contributionposted on 2022-01-01, 00:00 authored by Rojan AfrouzRojan Afrouz, Beth CrispBeth Crisp, Ann TaketAnn Taket
Gender roles and gender stereotypes are culturally and socially constructed. Previous studies suggested that the Afghan community is a male-dominated and conservative society, where men are more visible in social activities, and women remain responsible mainly for household tasks. This research aimed to show Afghan women’ perceptions of gender roles and the possibilities for and barriers in Australian society to change those roles after their settlement in Australia. The study involved semi-structured interviews with 21 Afghan women who had been living in Australia between 6 months and 10 years. The interviews were conducted face to face or by telephone, in either Farsi (Persian) or English. An inductive thematic analysis was used to explore the data and build themes. Afghan women were aware of gender roles, patriarchy, and gender inequality, and they hoped to address those issues now as they live in a society that offers more freedom to women. Moving to Australia had enhanced women’s possibilities, self-confidence and skills and inspired many to go beyond traditional stereotypes and seek out options previously denied to them on the basis of their gender. However, their attempts at realising gender equality often met with the disapproval of their family or the wider Afghan community.