Dr. Habiba Zaman is Professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, Simon Fraser University. She earned her M.A. in Political Science and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba. Her areas of research interest include Immigrants, settlement and work in Canada; Global south and social justice movements; Gender and development; Globalization and labour mobility; Race, gender and class; South Asia. She has published extensively in international journals.

Current Activities

Photos from the International Workshop on Gender, Diversity & Inclusiveness

From left to right:

Leena Hasan, Shoak Alhussami, Veronica Sudesh, Tiffany Muller Myrdahl, Rebecca Yoshizawa, Habiba Zaman, Guldana Salimjan, Reema Faris, Sanzida Habib



Canadian South Asian Youths Conference:
Identity, Gender, Sexuality, Employment, and Activism

Date: April 6, 2019 Saturday
Venue: SFU Harbour Centre, Vancouver
Time: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Dr. Habiba Zaman, Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, SFU
Dr. Sanzida Habib, Research Associate, Center for India and South Asia Research, UBC

The need for the proposed conference grew out of the many issues and challenges identified by a group
of young speakers at the Canada 150 Conference on Migration of Bengalis held in September 2017
realized by the same organizers. The experience of growing up by the Canadian South Asian Youths,
like those in many other immigrant communities in Canada, reveals a constant struggle within the family
and beyond. The mixed experiences of life, personal identities, sexuality, intergenerational and
intercultural conflicts over family values, honor/shame, and work place encounters require many social
and cultural adjustments. The Conference is expected to explore the identity formation/negotiations, the
role of gender/family/community, sexuality, dilemmas and intergenerational conflicts, job market
experiences and un/der/employment, the interface between immigrants and the wider community, and
the role of social and community activism as Canadians.

An abstract of 250 words with email address and a short paragraph of biographic information should be
submitted to Professor Habiba Zaman (email address: as an attachment by December
15, 2018. The complete written paper should be submitted after the conference by April 30, 2019 to be
considered for publication. Accepted papers will be published in the digitized version of the Conference
Proceedings to be available online at the SFU Library.

For further details and enquiries, please contact Professor Habiba Zaman (
No registration fee is required for presenting or attending the conference.

To attend the conference, one must register by February 28, 2019.

For registration, please send an email to GSWS Manager Roberta Neilson ( with your
full name, affiliation and email address, and write Canadian South Asian Youths Conference in the
subject line.

CSAYC Proceedings SFU Digitized Publication

CSAYC Proceedings ISBN: 978-1-77287-068-8

Videos from the Canadian South Asian Youths Conference

Photos from Dr. Habiba Zaman's Asian Immigrants in Canada lecture at Hohai University May 9, 2018

Photos from Dr. Habiba Zaman's Micro-Credit,Gender and NGO lecture at Hohai University May 11, 2018

Dr. Zhiyang He (Examiner and Recording Member), Mussie Sultan (an international student from Eritrea), Dr. Habiba Zaman (Chair of the Examination Committee), Muhtashima Fareha (an international student from Bangladesh) and Dr. Desheng Shi (Examiner)

Mussie Sultan and Muhtashima Fareha of School of Public Administration defended the MA Thesis titled “Rural to Uran Migration in Eritrea” and “Rural to Urban Migration in Bangladesh” on May 10, 2018. The Examining Committee members were Dr. He and Dr. Shi. As an Advisory Professor of Hohai University, Habiba Zaman chaired their MA Thesis defense.

Workshop on Gender and Development: Dimensions and Practices Agenda

May 20, 2018

Click here for agenda.

Photos from the Gender and Development Workshop organized by the Gender and Development Research Centerat Hohai University in Nanjing, China.
Sunday, May 20, 2018

The First International Graduate Forum on Migration, Development, Gender, and Poverty Alleviation

The Forum is designed to: (i) Provide an overview of migration, development, and poverty alleviation within the context of a country and/or project by graduate students; (ii) Discuss the role of the government and other agencies in addressing these development issues; (iii) Raise gender awareness in development; and (iv) discuss how to use and/or apply these issues in MA or PhD research projects.

Requirements: This forum is open to both national and international graduate students. The format is a 10-minute presentation and 10-minute Q&A. Please submit an abstract with a title of your presentation to Shen Yang ( before 12 May 2018.  


Date: May 22, 2018 (Tuesday)

Venue: Houxue Building, Hohai University (Jiangning Campus)

Resource Persons: Prof. Shaojun Chen and Prof. Habiba Zaman  

Sponsor: School of Public Administration, Hohai University

Professor Shaojun Chen of School of Public Administration, Hohai University, Nanjing, China, invited Habiba Zaman to deliver three lectures to Professor Chen’s Graduate Seminar Class in 2018 May. The lectures were: (i) Gender Lens, (ii) Social Assessment, and (iii) Social Risks. On the last day (2018 May 24), the students/Professor Chen presented a gorgeous flower bouquet.

National Public Service Week (NPSW)

National Public Service Week (NPSW) is an annual celebration of public servants and their contributions in serving Canadians. Each federal department celebrates NPSW with both internal and external events. Each year, the Canada School of Public Service offers a weeklong series of training events for federal public servants. This year NPSW was hosted at the Canada School of Public Service from June 11 to June 15 2018 and included speakers on a range of topics requested by public servants such as Mental Health, Indigenous Awareness, Innovation, Leadership, Diversity and more. Professor Zaman’s work on immigration, race and gender made her an ideal fit to speak on the topic of Diversity. Professor Zaman’s lecture, Diversity & Social Justice: Intersection of Race, Gender and Class, was insightful and well received with one participant citing that the lecture “was one of the best” training events she had ever attended.

Responsibility to Protect: Stopping Genocide in Burma

This event will be taking place on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people.

When: March 23rd, 7:45-9:30pm
Where: UBC Global Lounge
2205 Lower Mall, Vancouver

Rohingya Human Rights Network Executive Member, and student activist at Kwantlen University, Yasmin Ullah, will speak about her personal story as a Rohingya refugee and inter-connected issues (context) around the genocidal drives that reached an apogee in August of 2017.  Professor Ross Michael Pink from the Political Science Department of Kwantlen University will join her, discussing the implications of Canadian policy and the potential for international action, or, what we can do to stop the continuation of the atrocities and the fraud of repatriation which is happening under the gaze of the international community. Finally, UBC Research Associate at the Center for India and South Asia Research (CISAR) Professor Sanzida Habib will present the paper "Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh: The Political Economy of a Humanitarian Crisis." She uses a political economy perspective to examine this humanitarian crisis as a complex geopolitical economic issue rather than merely a religious one, such as Buddhists versus Muslims. Her co-writer, Professor Habiba Zaman of the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies department of SFU will moderate the discussion and Q&A session.

They will cover five broad areas for discussion: One, why repatriation of Rohingya Refugees stranded in Bangladesh under the current Agreement must be stopped; two, the complicity of the international community in the financing of this refoulement; three, how each of these issues revert back to the underlying problem, the need to declare genocide, and four, what actions can be taken against Burmese generals and from Canada, including the R2P (Responsibility to Protect), and five, how land and economic interests have been catalysts of the genocide and continue to inform the real motivations behind the silence and complicity of various nations (i.e. those who are funding the internment camps to which the ‘repatriated’ refugees would return).

 · Hosted by Colour Connected Against Racism UBC

Colour Connected Against Racism is an AMS resource group that provides support and information to students who feel alienated and
disempowered due to discrimination.

We organize events on various issues pertaining to racialized peoples and lobby the university and other institutions to implement necessary changes.

In addition to this, we foster connections and build community through hosting social events throughout the year!

SFU City Conversations: Making Visible the Invisible: The Intersectionality of Invisible Labour

Mar 1, 2018

12:30 - 1:30pm

SFU Vancouver at Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings St., Vancouver

Room 7000

As part of SFU Public Square’s 2018 Community Summit, Brave New Work, this special edition of City Conversations will be hosted in partnership with the SFSS Women’s Centre.

Are outdated and stereotypical gender roles continuously enforcing systemic issues such as the invisible workload? What is the invisible workload anyway?

Today, the mental and emotional impact of invisible labour has moved beyond family duties and continues to pervade even the most diverse and progressive ways of living. Through various forms of structural oppression, such as race, class, age, and (dis)ability, as well as factors such as workplace policies, benefits and expectations, the care economy, immigration laws, and the aging population, among many others, the gaps of inequality continue to widen, often to the disadvantage of marginalized groups.

This conversation goes beyond the intersections of gender. Instead, our panelists will delve deep into how the invisible workload and other burdens are systemically and disproportionately impacting some individuals more than others, in their home, their workplace, and their community. Then it’s your turn to pose questions, comments, and observations. Together, we can begin using this as an opportunity to create awareness and go beyond the often outdated notions of gendered work


Habiba Zaman is a Professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. She is also an associate member of SFU Labour Studies Program. Zaman is the author of several books and reports including Breaking the Iron Wall: Decommodification and Immigrant Women’s Labor in Canada (2006) and Asian Immigrants in “Two Canadas”: Racialization, Marginalization, and Deregulated Work (2012). She is also the co-author of Workplace Rights for Immigrants in BC: The Case of Filipino Workers (2007). Currently, she is editing a conference proceeding titled Canada 150 Conference on Migration of Bengalis (2018). She is one of the editors of McGill-Queens series in Gender, Sexuality, and Social Justice in the Global South. Zaman is a Board member of South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD) and South Asian Film Education Society (SAFES). She is an Advisor of Gender and Development Research Centre, Hohai University, China.

Kendra Strauss is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Simon Fraser University. She is also the Director of The Labour Studies Program and The Morgan Centre for Labour Research. She is a labour geographer and feminist political economist with teaching and research interests in the areas of labour market change, welfare regimes, and systems of regulation. Her work focuses on occupational pensions; precarious work, migration and unfree labour; and on theorizing the relationship between production and social reproduction in contemporary capitalist economies.  Before coming to SFU she taught at Birkbeck College (University of London) and held posts at the University of Glasgow and the University of Cambridge, where she was Director of Studies for Geography at Robinson College.

Natalie Drolet joined Migrant Workers Centre as Executive Director – Staff Lawyer in November 2014. Her legal practice focuses on the areas of immigration law and employment law. Natalie has been active in the fields of migration and human rights since 2003 when she worked as a researcher in Thailand for Rights & Democracy. Before joining MWC, she served as the Staff Lawyer for a multilingual access to justice initiative with the South Ottawa Community Legal Services. Prior to this, Natalie worked in Phnom Penh, Cambodia where she managed projects to advance the rights of domestic workers with the Legal Support for Children and Women. Natalie received her Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Civil Law from McGill University in 2009 and her Master of Arts in Immigration and Settlement Studies from Ryerson University in 2005.

For more information, visit the SFU Public Square website,

Poster design by Sanzida Habib.

GSWS 312-4 Immigrants, Women and Transnational Migration Undergraduate Conference 2017
Sponsored by FASS Canada Associate Dean Dr. Catherine Murray's Office

Photos by Somayeh Bahrami


Dear Dr. Zaman,

Thank you for including me as a guest at the FASS Canada 150 Mini-Undergraduate Conference, which was held at SFU’s Harbour Centre Campus on Friday, December 1.

I was impressed by the GSWS 312 students and the overall tenor of their five-minute presentations. They spoke well on such a diverse range of topics and their demeanour was confident and assured. The quality of the research the students had conducted was also impressive. It showed a full grasp of the course material as well as abstract concepts and indicated a depth of innovative scholarship that was remarkable.

What stood out for me in particular was the way in which the students were able to weave the strands of theory, lived experience, and practical applications together to examine the issues of immigration, migration, settlement, resettlement, discrimination and more.

From labour issues and policy to second-generation experiences to domestic violence to cultural representations, it was a whirlwind day of academic exploration and knowledge sharing. The students shared stories of migrant communities, whether Sri Lankan, Vietnamese, South Asian, South Korean, Syrian, — in fact the myriad backgrounds of those who consider Canada their home.  The students’ efforts in doing so were sensitive, tactful, and exhibited a mastery of critical thinking skills. I especially appreciated the efforts of the students who cast their gaze on the legacy of Canada’s history and the impact of state-building on the Indigenous communities in our own country.

What I came away with, in addition to admiration for the work of these young scholars, was an even greater understanding of how Canada’s success in the world today is dependent on the contributions of migrants who have made their home here or who have worked here. That the young students in your class appreciate this fact while understanding that there are voices that remain unheard and experiences that remain unexamined made me believe that the awareness they are helping to build through their studies, and the change that they will be a part of, ensures a better understanding of the past and a stronger future for the country we share.

It truly was an inspirational day!

With warmest regards,

Reema Faris
Ph.D Student,
Department of Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies (GSWS)

Videos of the Canada 150 Conference on Migration of Bengalis

Click the link below to watch

Canada 150 Conference Proceedings Migration of Bengalis

Editors:  Habiba Zaman and Sanzida Habib

ISBN: 978-1-77287-044-2

The SFU Library has digitized the Canada 150 Migration of Bengalis conference proceedings:

Interview with Zee TV with Rishma Johal on ZEE TV. (Starts at the 4 minute mark)

PROJECT DALIT - The Daily Star click here to read article

Dr. Habiba Zaman has organized the upcoming performance event with Arno Kamolika as part of the Margaret Lowe Benston Lecture Series for Social Justice.