World Refugee Day - The well-being of women refugees

Posted on Thursday, May 18, 2017

Nasim Khatibsemnani

Nasim Khatibsemnani’s doctoral research examines the impact of immigration on the health and well-being of women refugee.

Her story
Nasim Khatibsemnani is currently a third year student in Population Health at the University of Ottawa. Nasim is a trained physician with more than 15 years of experience who has worked as a member of interdisciplinary teams within multicultural environments. In addition to providing direct medical care and developing care plans, she assumed various administrative responsibilities including leading and participating in research, the development of medical and administrative policies and guidelines to assist teams and organizations in their compliance with various legislative or regulatory requirements, and the introduction of new processes to facilitate, monitor and improve medical service delivery and optimize patient experience.

Since beginning of her work as a physician in Iran, she has become interested in how differences in the distribution of social resources cause wide disparities in health status. The seeds of interest in the well-being of immigrants, refugees, and migrants were sown after her migration to Dubai, where she provided care for domestic and temporary migrant workers.

MA in women’s studies
After moving to Canada, she decided to pursue a MA in Women’s Studies to learn how the lives of immigrants and refugees are shaped by broader structural forces. Her master thesis examined how immigration intersects with class, racialized status, gender, and disability to shape the health and well-being of Iranian woman immigrants and refugees.

Doctoral research
Inspired by the life of a refugee woman who shared her story with her, Nasim’s doctoral research aims to gain an understanding of women living with chronic pain as situated in and contextualized by the lived experiences of immigrant and refugee women residing in Ottawa. The purpose of this research is to address the difficulties and challenges faced by immigrant and refugee women living with chronic pain, the coping resources and strategies they employ to live a “normal” life, and the wider social factors which can support or undermine their coping strategies.

Utilizing qualitative research methods, her current research has important health care implications. Employing an intersectional lens, Nasim’s research contributes to development of practical and policy recommendations to promote refugee, immigrant, and migrant health. As refugees and immigrants are an integral component of the country's vibrant cultural fabric, their better health benefits Canada.

View additional student research on issues pertaining to refugees.

The University of Ottawa launches a program to helps refugees

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