Education and training of migrant women: What works?
A surge in migration to the EU in 2015 – 2016 put the matter high on the political agenda, with EU Member States calling for good practices on integration. A new study from EIGE provides a gender analysis of policies on education and training of migrants and presents some initiatives that work on the ground.
"Effective integration of migrants can contribute to tackling the challenges of ageing societies and labour market shortages in the European Union. The practices from France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Sweden show what works and how governments can adjust policies and measures to target the different needs of women and men migrants and enable their contribution to their host country and society," said Virginija Langbakk, EIGE's Director.
Currently, most EU and Member State policies on education and training have been designed using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach that does not distinguish between the different needs of women and men. Young women and men with a migrant background are almost twice as likely to be out of education, employment or training than their native-born counterparts. Boys with a migrant background fare particularly poorly and are the most likely to quit school early.
Women are primarily considered in terms of their vulnerability, even though highly-skilled women actually have higher rates of migration than both low-skilled women and highly-skilled men. Stereotypes in Member States reduce migrant women to the role of "passive wife" or "mother" and result in integration initiatives for women centring around family management.
The practices on the ground show that a tailored approach can include the provision of free childcare during language classes, or mentoring by other migrant women. Indeed, many education and training initiatives are led by women with a migrant background. EIGE's forthcoming study provides detailed guidance on how the EU and Member States can best harness the potential of migrant women and men through gender-sensitive policymaking.