Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Women's and Gender Studies

Committee Chair

Christopher, Karen Lyn

Author's Keywords

Refugee women; Refugee narratives; Refugee resettlement; Women's narratives; Gender and refugees


Women refugees--Kentucky--Louisville--Social conditions; Women refugees--Kentucky--Louisville--Personal narratives; Women refugees--Services for--Kentucky--Louisville


This work explores the personal narratives of a group refugee women recently resettled in Louisville, Kentucky, participating in the Family Center program at Kentucky Refugee Ministries. This research shows that both local and national refugee resettlement policies are complicit in the marginalization of refugee women. These policies falsely construct refugee women as a universalized "other," silencing the diverse experiences and needs of women resettled in the United States. In turn scholarship and an aid discourse that positions refugee women's employment as "supplementary" to male income is based on assumed social constructions of gender inconsistent with many refugee women's experiences both before and after resettlement. Yet, many of the discriminatory practices in refugee resettlement can be diminished by an incorporation of women's voices into the refugee aid discourse.