Policy Press

Women in transition

A study of the experiences of Bangladeshi women living in Tower Hamlets

By Chris Phillipson, Nilufar Ahmed and Joanna Latimer


May 12, 2003

Page count

112 pages




297 x 210 mm


Policy Press
Women in transition

Drawing on interviews with over 100 first generation migrant women in the London borough of Tower Hamlets (home to the largest population of Bangladeshis in the UK) the report:

· presents the first detailed study of this significant ethnic minority group;

· identifies the pressures facing women as they juggle competing demands from younger and older generations;

· addresses particular concerns such as the barriers to adopting English language within the community;

· highlights the issues for those involved in service delivery;

· demonstrates the range of issues to be considered when trying to access minority ethnic communities for the purpose of research.

The report will make fascinating reading for those working in the field of minority ethnic research, where studies of this depth are still comparatively rare. It will also be of particular value to policy makers and those involved in the delivery of services, as well as academics, students and practitioners with an interest in minority ethnic groups, women, and problems of social exclusion more generally.

"This study is of great interest to social work practitioners and managers who will find it readable and accessible and of relevance in the planning and delivery of culturally and gender sensitive services, recognizing both the difficulties as well as the strengths and stories of survival within these pages." British Journal of Social Work

"This study makes an important contribution to research on ethnicity and health. But even if its specific subject matter is not central to your own area of interest, this paper is worth adding to your collection of worked examples of good research." Family Practice

"... very useful to students and policy makers as well as those who are interested in contemporary British society." Ageing & Society

"... a valuable account of research with a neglected and important sector of the community. It will be of interest to academics and policymakers concerned with issues of gender, ethnicity, migration, health, poverty, employment and housing. It should also be required reading for all those providing public services to the Bangladeshi community in the UK." Journal of Social Policy

Chris Phillipson has held the post of Professor of Applied Social Studies and Social Gerontology at the University of Keele since 1988, where he is also Director of the Centre for Social Gerontology.

Nilufar Ahmed was Research Fellow on the Nuffield Foundation-funded 'Bangladeshi Women: Migration and Identity' study. She has a specialised interest in Gender, Ethnicity and Mental Health. .

Joanna Latimer is a Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University.

Contents: Introduction; Methodology of the study; Migration and the family life of Bangladeshi women; Community and financial resources; Transnational migration: costs and benefits; Conclusion and policy recommendations.