12/01/2018 10:00 EST | Updated 12/05/2018 14:05 EST

HuffPost Her Stories: Immigrant Moms And Their Daughters Get Candid

Plus: Meet the single women having kids on their own terms.

Koffler Centre of the Arts
Mother and daughter participants share their stories.

“HuffPost Her Stories” is a new series highlighting HuffPost’s coverage of women’s lives from across our 15 global editions. Sign up for the weekly newsletter here.

Dear reader,

HuffPost Canada’s Charmaine Noronha got an intimate look this week at the conversations immigrant mothers have with their Canadian-born daughters. The talks took place around a dinner table under a spotlight at a Toronto theater, but they were wholly authentic.

Like Mother, Like Daughter” is an unscripted play that casts real mother-daughter duos from Canada where 1 in 5 people is an immigrant.

Charmaine, whose family arrived in Canada from Kenya when she was 8 months old, said the play resonated with her. “My parents and I had never had open conversations growing up,” she said. “While my mom and I have become closer, mostly just over the course of this past year due to a health-related issue, we didn’t always talk as frequently or openly as we do now. I think often with immigrant parents, you’ll always be ‘their child’ in their eyes so it can be difficult to have ‘real’ convos at times.”

In some immigrant families, she added, girls face additional barriers. “Boys are given free rein to some degree, whereas girls are more ‘protected’ and their behavior may be monitored more closely,” she said. “Boys are sometimes valued in a different way and are therefore granted more independence, but some parents think that their daughters need to be reared more closely, are given more direction and might be not be granted as much freedom and independence as their male counterparts.”

These are some of the issues highlighted in HuffPost Canada’s Born And Raised series, where Charmaine’s story appeared. “It explores how [second-generation Canadians] define our identities (Canadian and otherwise), how we navigate the multiple cultures we grow up with, and how we connect with our family and loved ones,” said Lisa Yeung, HuffPost Canada’s managing editor of lifestyle and blogs. “It’s one that’s dear to our hearts because we have many children of immigrants in the Canada newsroom, myself and Charmaine included.”

The series, which launched in 2016, includes a number of stories about the unique challenges some immigrant women face—from pressure to marry early to insecurities about their appearances.

With migration increasing worldwide and more people living outside of the country of their birth than ever before, it’s a timely series of sweetly told stories.

Until next time,


For more on second generation Canadians: Check out the “Born And Raised” podcast. This Sunday’s episode: “Mom’s Cooking.”

Meet The Women Having Kids On Their Own – With The Help Of Sperm Donors

The Stork and I
Mel Johnson and her daughter Daisy.

Single women in the U.K. are increasingly turning to sperm donors to start families. The number of women registered for fertility treatment without a partner jumped 35 percent between 2014 and 2016, according to a report released this year. HuffPost U.K. spoke with three women in their 30s and 40s who decided to take this route after finding themselves unattached but yearning for motherhood. Their stories shed light on the motivations of single women who choose to conceive alone and the challenges they face along the way. (The cost of the process, which can soar into the thousands of dollars, resulted in one of the women having to remortgage her house.) They also discuss how empowering they have found it to have a child entirely on their own terms.

France Steps Up Fight Against Sexual Violence With New Digital Reporting Process

A protest against gender-based violence in Nantes, France, last weekend.

The French government launched an online platform this week for reporting sexual and gender-based violence, days after tens of thousands of protesters in the country joined a global call to end violence against women. The service will allow victims or witnesses of sexist violence to share information with authorities via their computers or mobile devices. The service launched amid calls for the government to do more to close the gender gap and protect women from harassment and attacks. People took to the streets of France last Saturday to demand an end to “impunity for aggressors” and violence against women, HuffPost France reported. Protest organizer Caroline De Haas said it was “the biggest feminist mobilization we have ever seen in France.”

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