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The conference will host over 40 scholars of various disciplines from North America, Europe, South Asia, and Australasia:


Artist: Vasuki
Artist: Kiko
Artist: Vasan

Abraham, S.
Ambalavanar, D.
Arasu, V.
Champakalakshmi, R.
Cheran, R.
Fukao, J.
George, G.
George, U.
Ghose, R.
Guruge, S.
Jegathesan, M.
Kanaganayakam, C.
Kanthasamy, P.
Karunakaran, K.
Karunanithi, G.
Kingsolver, A.
Mason, R.
Maunaguru, S.
Maunaguru, Sitralega
McNaughton, S.
More, J.B.P.
Orr, L.
Pai, G.
Palaniappan, S.
Pandian, M.S.S.
Rajesh, V.
Renganathan, V.
Sangarasivam, Y.
Seylon, R.
Shanmugam, K.
Sivalingam, H.
Sriramachandran, R.
Sundar, A.
Tambiah, S.J.
Tyyskä, V.
Vaitheespara, R.
Vivekananthan, P.
Whitaker, M.
Xavier, S.
Young, K.
Younger, P.

Sepali Guruge

Associate Professor
School of Nursing
Ryerson University

Gender and Family Relations in the Tamil Diaspora in Toronto

Traditionally, in Tamil societies the responsibilities of health and well-being tend to be assigned to women who are wives, mothers, care-givers, and cultural-carriers. However, displacement, exile, and forced migrations have had a drastic impact on gender relations in Tamil society in the diaspora. This symposium will address gender roles, changing familial relations and functions as well as health and well-being of Tamil families in the diaspora in Toronto. While exploring how notions and perceptions of Tamil culture are instrumental in shaping and defining family and gender relations, the three individual papers in the panel will highlight: relationships between children and their parents; perceptions of and responses to intimate partner violence among Tamil women; and older immigrant women and their attitudes toward breast cancer screening.

Dr. Guruge's research is focused on the influence of gender, racial, social, and economic inequalities on the production of and responses to intimate partner violence in the post-migration context. She is a co-investigator on a number of funded research projects on immigrant and refugee women’s health in Canada. She has published a number of articles and book chapters, and presented at many conferences nationally and internationally. She is also co-editor of the book entitled Working with women in the context of immigration and settlement: Issues and strategies for mental health professionals (Publisher: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health).