Impact of Displaced Cultural Traditions and Social Integration on Health-Related Behaviour among Migrant Women Living in Slovenia
Keywords: culture, gender roles, language barriers, health care, health disparities
AbstractToday’s male dominance means migrant women are often overlooked in studies on migration. Cultural influences, socio-economic status and gender inequalities are strong predictors of health and health-related behaviour among migrant women; however, the existing models of women’s health and care often overlook these predictors. The purpose of this study was to explore migrant women’s experiences and perceptions about the impact of culture and social integration on their health and health-related behaviour in the host country. A descriptive qualitative study was conducted among ten hospital-admitted migrant women in Slovenia. The data were collected using semi-structured, one-to-one interviews. Two themes emerged from the analysis: (1) cultural values, beliefs and practices; and (2) social integration. For the majority of women in the study, migration has had a positive effect on their perceived physical and mental health. Some women have clearly become more empowered, moving them away from traditional norms and roles defined by patriarchy. Language barriers and social isolation increase the likelihood of health disparities, requiring these issues to be addressed in the future.