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Gender norms in the Chinese community in Melbourne, Australia: family and community roles
journal contributionposted on 2020-02-01, 00:00 authored by Lata SatyenLata Satyen, Jo van Dort, Shiyuan Yin
Objective: The Chinese community in the Eastern metropolitan region of Melbourne forms one of the largest migrant communities in Victoria, yet the factors that influence their social, family, and work life are not clear. An understanding of the cultural underpinnings of the family and social dynamics will enable health service providers in the region to develop culturally appropriate strategies for promoting gender equity. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to explore the impact of gender norms on the family, employment, and social life of the Chinese community. Method:Four focus groups with men and women (older and younger) of the community were conducted in Mandarin and/or Cantonese. The data was transcribed and thematic analysis of the data was undertaken.Results:There are differences in the gender norms between the Chinese men and women with the men focusing on the family-oriented role of women and their own economic contribution to the family, and the women emphasising their homemaker-provider role within the family and the impact of family responsibilities on their career advancement. The influence of Australian laws on their marital relationships was also explored.Conclusions:The findings suggest that health service providers could play an advanced role in improving the gender parity between members of the Chinese community by developing culturally relevant programs. Future research should explore the factors that influence the drivers of gender equity among culturally diverse communities.