Migrant women in Ireland could face a ‘double disadvantage’


Non-EU migrant women in Ireland may face a ‘double disadvantage’ of being both a woman and a migrant, according to a new study.

Additional challenges include access to health care, labor market barriers and gender-based violence, he also found.

Research by the European Migration Network (EMN) and ESRI assessed the situation of non-EU migrant women in Ireland and policy responses to this group.

The research is part of an EU-wide study being carried out by EMN, which is funded in Ireland by the European Union and the Department of Justice.

In 2020, almost 89,000 non-European women and girls lived in Ireland, representing 3.5% of the resident female population.

Non-EU migrant women may face challenges integrating into the labor market, with higher unemployment rates and lower activity rates than Irish women and men and migrant men, research finds .

Other challenges may include difficulties in balancing care tasks, a lack of skills recognition and the risk of underemployment.

Research also indicates that non-European migrant women are more likely to live in crowded conditions than Irish women and have a higher frequency of perinatal deaths than other groups.

Previous research and stakeholders consulted for the study highlighted additional integration challenges such as the increased risk of gender-based and domestic violence, discrimination, homelessness and the vulnerability of women living in the direct delivery system accommodation.

Non-European migrant women are also at greater risk of human trafficking than other groups, he also found.

EMN’s recently published EU-wide study shows that migrant women face similar challenges in almost all EU states.

A review of existing policies in Ireland revealed limited crossover between the migrant integration strategy and the gender equality strategy.

The researchers found that migrant women were not specifically addressed in the National Migrant Integration Strategy 2017 to 2021, nor did it adopt a gender mainstreaming approach, which integrate a gender dimension at every stage of policy development and implementation.

There is no specific mention of migrant women in the National Strategy for Women and Girls, nor in most of the sectoral policies examined in the study.

The EU-wide study also shows ‘weak links’ between mainstreaming strategies and gender equality frameworks in many European countries.

Significantly, the recently released Third National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (2022-2026) commits to adopting an intersectional approach to ensure the inclusion of socially excluded groups.

Migrants, refugees and applicants for international protection as well as undocumented migrants are among those potentially in need of additional inclusion measures.

Michal Polakowski, co-author of the study, said: “While research shows that non-EU migrant women may face certain disadvantages, they are often very well educated and potentially a major asset to society and society. Irish economy.

“Our study shows the important role of non-governmental organisations, not only in providing integration measures, but also in representing the voices of migrant women.

“The generally positive social attitudes towards the integration of migrants in Ireland, the rise of social movements for equality as well as the publication of the national strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence which explicitly addresses the Migrant-specific issues may signal increased attention to the integration needs of migrant women in the future.

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