Post-migration Changes in Gender Relations Among Ethiopian Couples Living in Canada


  • Ilene Hyman
  • Sepali Guruge
  • Robin Mason
  • Judy Gould
  • Noreen Stuckless
  • Taryn Tang
  • Hiwot Teffera
  • Girma Mekonnen


The Ethiopian community of Toronto, Canada, has identified the prevention of marital conflict and partner abuse as a priority issue. Previous research and community discussions suggested that changes in gender relations following migration contribute to both marital conflict and partner abuse. The objective of this community-based pilot study was to explore post-migration changes in gender relations among Ethiopian couples in order to inform the development of violence-prevention strategies. Qualitative research methods and analyses were used. In-depth interviews and focus-group discussions were conducted with 8 couples who had been married in Ethiopia and migrated to Toronto. The findings indicate changes in gender relations following migration as well as concordant and discordant patterns of change. Change was found to be associated with factors such as age, number of years married, experience in a third country, and gender-role socialization. Implications for future research and nursing practice are discussed.