Eurodiaconia: New guidelines urge effective measures for the integration of migrant women
On the occasion of International Migrants Day Eurodiaconia is launching its new Guidelines for the Integration of Migrant Women and urges EU member states to develop more effective measures for the integration of migrant women.
Due to their gender and immigration status, migrant women are often confronted with higher challenges in accessing the labor market, training, and language courses as well as basic services such as healthcare, housing, and integration programs in general.
Against this context, Eurodiaconia is releasing a set of practical guidelines to improve the understanding of organizations working with migrants of the specific challenges that migrant women face on a daily basis, and provide specific recommendations on how to more effectively tackle these challenges. The guidelines are a follow up to Eurodiaconia Migration Network Meeting, which took place this year in Rome and focused on a gender-based approach to integration.
The guidelines are organized into two parts. The first part focuses on the characteristics of migrant women, providing some key data, and on the specific integration challenges that migrant women face in the integration process. The second part is more practice-focused and gives some key recommendations on how to more effectively work towards the social inclusion and integration of migrant women with concrete examples of projects from the Eurodiaconia membership that specifically target the needs of migrant women.
Among other factors, the research has shown in particular how migrant women face significant obstacles due to their legal and health status, lack of early integration support and language skills, family obligations, childcare responsibilities, and unfavorable labor market conditions.
One solution proposed to address some of these barriers is to provide specific attention to the needs of migrant women in intake and integration programs and conduct comprehensive gender-sensitive assessments. In particular, when assessing their integration needs and the different factors that could affect their ability to access services, social service providers and public institutions should take into account factors such as a migrant women’s current immigration status; their childcare and family responsibilities; their access to basic needs such as housing and healthcare; their family dynamics and cultural pressures; their level of education and proficiency in the host country’s language; as well as their employment experience, qualifications, and skills.
Faith-based organisations and their trained staff are well-placed to ensure a gender-sensitive approach in the integration of migrant women not only because of their experience and historical attention to the needs of vulnerable individuals but also because they constitute a community in which migrant women can be integrated into.
Eurodiaconia is a dynamic, Europe-wide community of social and health care organisations with direct experience in providing services to migrants and advocating for their fundamental rights. Our federation is committed to a Europe of solidarity, equality, and justice. We currently have 48 members in 32 countries and territories who are churches and NGOs rooted in the Christian faith and working in the tradition of Diaconia.