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Employment, education and life worlds of young women with a migration background

Education and employment are crucial factors concerning social and economic integration into Austrian society. However, recent studies have shown that women with a migration background are disadvantaged with regard to employment and education when compared to men with a migration background as well as to women without such a migration background.

The reasons for these disadvantages are manifold and comprise factors such as inadequate qualifications, low educational profiles, but also discrimination, difficulties in acknowledging foreign qualifications or the need to prove German language skills on a very high level. Furthermore, factors that are not easy to measure, such as benefits of family and social networks or attitudes regarding family or work, may indirectly impact on the employment situation and educational profiles of women with a migration background. Moreover, factors unrelated to migration, such as lack of positions that offer work-life balance, weaken the position of women with a migration background on the labour market.  This said, the employment and education situation of women with a migration background is in fact very heterogeneous. In particular, first generation migrants and women coming from countries outside of the EU show lower labour market participation rates and face higher unemployment than other groups.

However, to date, systematic analysis examining the combination of factors explaining the employment and education situations of women with migration history are scarce. Moreover, there is a need to combine existing statistical data on socio-demographic characteristics, educational attainment, de-skilling, discrimination, and “soft” factors, such as attitudes to work, family and education to better understand individual decision-making processes and structural disadvantages.

Objectives of the project
Analyse the employment and education situation of young migrant women with specific regard to social and family contexts.
Identify factors that shape labour market and educational outcomes.
Identify good practices to promote the labour market performance of women with a migration background
Formulate policy recommendations.

To reach these aims, the study applies multiple methods including desk research, secondary statistical analysis, and qualitative interviews with experts, practitioners and young women themselves.

Analysis report
Mapping of good practices
Policy recommendations

Project Duration: 2012
Funding: State Secretary for Integration within the Federal Ministry of the Interior of Austria
Project Coordination and Implementation: ICMPD
Contact: Elisabeth Strasser (on leave of absence), David Reichel


Final Report
Christina Hollomey, Alexandra König, David Reichel & Elisabeth Strasser (2012): Familien-, Bildungs- und Erwerbssituationen von Migrantinnen der Ersten und Zweiten Generation in Österreich. Vienna: ICMPD.