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Browsing by Author "Fong, Cho Wai Phyllis"

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  • Fong, Cho Wai Phyllis (2024)
    This thesis aims to study migrant women’s experiences of participative decision-making offered for Helsinki residents during the OmaStadi (2020-2021) process. It examines how the multiple interconnected social categories shape migrant women’s navigation and negotiation for inclusive decision-making and its relevance. It fills the gap in the systematic analysis of OmaStadi (2020-2021) from the perspective of immigrants’ needs, especially that of migrant women. Simultaneously, this thesis calls attention to migrant women’s aspirations, strengths, knowledge, and skills to negotiate relevance successfully. Data was collected through documents and semi-structured interviews with three migrant women whose community proposals were voted for implementation by Helsinki residents. Data was examined with thematic and intersectional analyses based on the six key principles of intersectionality (obstacles, relationality, complexity, context, comparison, and deconstruction). The investigation showed that the most salient interlocked social categories of the interviewees are gender, parenthood, migrant and employment status, multilanguage and different levels of Finnish language skills, and knowledge and experience of the participatory budgeting process that is linked to the country of origin of migrant women. These interrelated identities promoted migrant women’s overall sense of belonging in Helsinki by inviting extra resources to improve their knowledge of Helsinki and foster solidarity and empowerment. Nevertheless, these interrelated social identities and roles reinforced the polarisation of multicultural communities, deterred the inclusion of multicultural knowledge from existing across Helsinki communities, and rendered some identities invisible through language domination, unequal modes of participation and the majoritarian voting system. The analysis revealed that the interviewees faced multiple challenges that only the city could resolve. Simultaneously, they effectively utilised intercultural communication skills and competence to engage with various communities during the OmaStadi process (2020-2021). The study contributed to a more systematic understanding of migrant women’s struggles and needs during their participative decision-making experience of OmaStadi (2020-2021). It offered a more comprehensive and nonbinary understanding of how to devise more inclusive and equitable services for migrant women communities by examining their interrelated multiple social identities and the context. It also addressed migrant women’s strengths and skills in creating a new home environment. More extensive and longitudinal intersectional research could contribute to an even deeper understanding of various communities' intra- and inter-dynamics, struggles, needs, and strengths. This understanding would support the improvement of the OmaStadi and other forms of participatory democracy in Finland.