Men Speak out on Migration and Gender Roles

Dalal Smiley, Wellsprings for Women

Dalal Smiley and Mohajer Hameed share their research experiences with engaging men to speak out on migration, gender roles, post-settlement adjustments and family violence.

Dalal Smiley is the CEO of Wellsprings for Women, a centre based in Dandenong offering services, supports and programs for women to improve education, employment, health and wellbeing and to live life safely and free from violence.

Dalal joined the Melbourne Social Equity Institute's Community Fellows Program in 2018 with the aim of better engaging men in violence prevention education. To do this, Wellsprings for Women needed to know more about the issues that migrant and refugee men experience as a result of their migration,  especially in relation gender identity, changes to family dynamics and the role of men in Australia.

Throughout her Community Fellowship, Dalal worked with Dr Mohajer Hameed,  a Research Fellow within the Safer Families Centre of Research Excellence. Their project engaged 12 men from migrant and refugee backgrounds in focus groups that explored their views of gender prior to migration to Australia and how the process of migration and settlement has modified their views and behaviours. By understanding men's perspectives on these issues, Wellsprings for Women will be able to adjust and tailor its programs to best meet community needs.

When asked about her experience of being a part of the Community Fellows Program, Dalal said "being a part of the program provided me with access to academic support and a wealth of resources that helped in building my knowledge and understanding of gender, masculinities, and the migration experience. It is an experience that brings community and university together in a mutually enriching encounter to learn from each other and helped in shining a light on what are often overlooked community issues. I found that it has helped me to think more profoundly about the issue I am researching and to reflect on the links to broader social factors and impacts."

In September 2020, Dalal and Mohajer presented their research findings at the Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence Against Women and their Children (MAEVe) seminar series. The video from is seminar is available below.