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From east to west: Nepalese women's experiences

Authors

  • C. Rolls rn , rm , phd,

    Corresponding author
    1. Lecturer, Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
      Colleen Rolls, Lecturer, Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy, 3065, Victoria, Australia
      Tel: 61 39953 3191
      Fax: 61 39953 3355
      E-mail: c.rolls@patrick.acu.edu.au
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  • M. Chamberlain rn , rm , phd

    1. Formerly Clinical Chair Midwifery, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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Colleen Rolls, Lecturer, Australian Catholic University, Fitzroy, 3065, Victoria, Australia
Tel: 61 39953 3191
Fax: 61 39953 3355
E-mail: c.rolls@patrick.acu.edu.au

Abstract

Background:  Nepal is a small mountainous South Asian country located between the nations of India and China. Forty-two per cent of the 22 million Nepalese people live in poverty. As a result, immigration to a developed country is the dream of many but available to few. Some immigrants from Nepal have arrived in Australia in recent years entering the ‘Skill’ stream of eligibility categories. Nepalese immigrants to Australia are predominantly young married couples with professional education qualifications.

Aim:  To generate knowledge of the childbirth and early experiences of Nepalese women in their mother country and in Australia. The aspect presented here is the immigration experiences of Nepalese women to Australia.

Method:  An ethnographic, grounded theory approach was used to observe and analyse the experiences of 11 Nepalese participants.

Findings:  Analysis of data suggests that Nepalese female immigrants with the ability to comprehend and speak English and a level of education and skill required by Australia can successfully negotiate the change of culture and adapt to their new society. Major benefits of immigration for the women were the opportunities to work, become independent and to share in decision making for their family.

Conclusion and implications for nursing practice:  Severance from the Nepalese joint family, a male dominant hierarchical society, and a new way of life allow a Nepalese woman to become an individual rather than a member of a collective. This study has produced transcultural information from the perspective of the educated professional Nepalese female immigrant that will assist in the provision of midwifery and nursing care.

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