Challenging Gender Role Stereotypes and Creating Pathways for Goal Achievement: A Study of a Group Mentoring Programme for Women from Disadvantaged Communities

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Boddy, J
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2009
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Abstract

This article critically examines the success of the Map Your Future women's mentoring program (MYF) in challenging gender role norms with a group of women from four socioeconomically disadvantaged communities of a large Australian provincial city. MYF was underpinned by a 'feminist-strengths' perspective and used a social intervention research framework to guide program development, implementation and evaluation. Participants, who were predominantly of Anglo-Celtic ethnicity, came from communities where there was a persistent cultural expectation that women work within the home. Unemployment was significantly higher, one-parent families more common, the median weekly household income lower and completion of secondary education well below the state average in all communities (Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS], 2006). The findings suggest that group mentoring with women, from cultures where caregiving is valued over education and career opportunities, can assist women to broaden their educational and career interests and enable them to explore their hopes and goals for the future unconstrained by gender role norms.

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Qualitative Social Work

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8

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4

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© 2009 SAGE Publications. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.

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Political science

Social work

Counselling, wellbeing and community services

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