Toll of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Primary Caregiver in Yazidi Refugee Families in Canada: A Feminist Refugee Epistemological Analysis
Existing discourse on refugee resettlement in the West is rife with imperialist and neoliberal allusions. Materially, this discourse assumes refugees as passive recipients of resettlement programs in the host country denying them their subjectivities. Given the amplification of all social and economic inequities during the pandemic, our paper explores how Canada's response to the pandemic vis-a-visa refugees impacted the everyday of Yazidis in Calgary - a recently arrived refugee group who survived the most horrific genocidal atrocities of our times. Based on interviews with Yazidi families in Calgary and with resettlement staff we unpack Canada's paternalistic response to COVID-19 toward refugees. We show how resettlement provisions and social isolation along with pre-migration histories have furthered the conditions of social, economic, and affective inequities for the Yazidis. We also show how Yazidi women who were most impacted by the genocide and the subsequent pandemic find ways of asserting their personhood and engaging in healing through a land-based resettlement initiative during the pandemic. Adopting a Feminist Refugee Epistemology and a southern moral imaginary as our discursive lenses, we highlight the need to dismantle the existing paternalistic structures and re(orient) resettlement practices and praxis to a social justice framework centering the voices of refugee women and families in their resettlement process.
Comparative Intersectional Analysis of the Resettlement Process and Integration Paths
Yazidis women, Covid-19, Feminist Refugee Epistemology, southern moral imaginary, resettlement
Banerjee, P., Chacko, S., & Korsha, S. (2021). Toll of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Primary Caregiver in Yazidi Refugee Families in Canada: A Feminist Refugee Epistemological Analysis (Pre-print). Studies in Social Justice.