The WRAP#53- The complexity of culture, what’s normal anyway?, and 60 Seconds with Resika KC.

As the days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting colder, we thought it was a good time of year to start bringing people together.

We are thrilled to announce the inaugural networking night (the first of many we hope) at our office in Collingwood. The Multicultural Women’s Network is a platform for women to socialise, share research, knowledge, and information about their work across different areas concerning migrant and refugee women’s health and wellbeing, such as the prevention of violence against women, women’s health, gender equity, and asylum seeker and refugee issues. We are pleased to invite you to join us!

We are also looking forward to our upcoming conference: Evidence for Equity, in partnership with True Relationships and Reproductive Health. The conference aims to create a platform for health practitioners and consumers to improve migrant and refugee women’s reproductive and sexual health outcomes, so if you’re interested in attending you can now register.

In this month’s WRAP we take a close look at the cultural and social complexities that come with being a migrant, question what it is to be “normal”, and last but not least, we have 60 Seconds with Resika KC, who gives her own reflections on culture and diversity.

Until next time,
The WRAP Team

The WRAP#52- Five things we learnt about preventing FGM/C, The path towards excellent sexual and reproductive health & 60 Seconds with Shegofa Hazara

MCWH held our third NETFA Forum, Foundations for Change, on the 24th March and we are still buzzing with the conversations, ideas and strategies that were presented and discussed when we talk about how to end the practice of female genital mutilation/ circumcision (FGM/C). We thank all our special guests and audience members for their contribution and we hope the key messages that we took away from the event help to inform your work in the area.

We are also pleased with the recent release of Victoria’s first ever sexual and reproductive health strategy and priority action plan, which shows that we are on the right path to recognising the importance of sexual and reproductive health rights for all Australian women and also pleasing to see recognition of the barriers to healthcare that need to be further broken down for our culturally and linguistically diverse female population.

Last but not least, we chat to Shegofa Hazara about the importance of education and grabbing opportunities where you see them!

Until next time,
The WRAP Team

60 seconds with Dr Kudzai Kanhutu

Kudzai Kanhutu

Doctor, stargazer and pop lover

What are you enjoying doing at the moment?
Brushing up on my tennis game and learning to stargaze with our brand new telescope.

If you were a super-heroine, what powers would you like to have?
I would like to have the ability to speak every language on the planet both current, ancient and extinct. Every part of my day would be easier and I would use the skill to communicate and better understand all those around me. I’d also like to be able to teleport in order to get myself to places faster.

What’s your favourite word  in any language? Why?
My favourite word is “Svutugadzike” which is the Shona word for tea. I love it because it speaks not only to the physical act of drinking tea but also of contemplation, mindfulness and reflection. Beautiful…

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a woman from an immigrant or refugee background?
Learning to comfortably assert your value and worth in an environment where there is often very little acknowledgement of women let alone women from diverse cultural backgrounds.

For you, what’s the best thing about being a woman from an immigrant refugee/ background? 
Once you accept that so much is possible if you commit to it and persevere it allows you so much freedom. Culturally you have very much free reign because people often don’t know how to place you so you can fairly well do and be whatever you choose to be.

Tell me about an amazing woman you know.
Amazing women?! I know way too many! To name just one would seem a huge injustice!

What are you reading right now?
The washing instructions tag on a pair of new boxer shorts…. Do they REALLY have to tell you not to dry clean these?

Do you have a song/ music that inspires and motivates you?
Guilty pop pleasures here….. Beyonce’s “Run The World, Girls” always gets me fired up. The original sampled track Major Lazer’s “Pon de Floor” is astonishingly good.

If you could meet the Prime Minister tomorrow, what would you like to tell him?
Probably nothing he doesn’t already know…

New Victorian government ads against domestic violence.

Late last year Daniel Andrews launched the latest ads created by the Victorian government as part of the response to the findings of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence. 71 women were killed in Australia in 2016 as a result of family violence. MCWH’s ongoing educational, research and advocacy work in the field of family violence recognises that gender inequality is a key driver of gender-based violence. As such, it’s essential we focus on preventing violence against women, whether or not children are involved . We also need to shift the focus from women being passive “victims” to women being educated and empowered to notice the early signs of violence and be able to seek and source the services and support they need.




The WRAP #41 – Mainstream Multiculturalism, Human Rights and 60 Seconds with Shabnam Daliri

Greetings WRAPpers!

April has brought us the highly anticipated findings from the Royal Commission into Family Violence. As an organisation that works to promote women’s health, safety and well-being, we couldn’t be prouder that research we’ve undertaken has contributed to the report identifying how family violence impacts on immigrant and refugee communities. Given that the vast proportion of women in Victoria were either born overseas or are first generation Australians, we certainly hope that the findings will support the development of easily accessible multilingual and culturally appropriate services and information as part of the mainstream response.

We also re-visit the issue of international students’ rights, and find that not only do they continue to face exploitation, racism and discrimination, but that female students in particular continue to be severely under supported in accessing equitable and affordable sexual and reproductive healthcare.

As strong advocates for immigrant and refugee women’s rights, MCWH will be discussing the impact of the Royal Commission findings on immigrant and refugee communities at our upcoming panel.

We hope to see you there!

Until next time,
The WRAP team