Europe: FEMM study outlines integration policies for refugee women
A study commissioned by the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) Committee of the European Parliament concludes that integration policies which are not gender-sensitive are destined to fail. Once in their host countries, female refugees often face isolation, as they may be unable to attend language courses and other integration services because of the difficulties to reconcile this with family care. As a result, their independence is limited, and they may always need to rely on family members for translation and access to services.
The EP study "Female refugees and asylum seekers: the issue of integration" urges EU member states to implement integration policies which are gender-sensitive and are aimed at the empowerment and independence of women refugees, tailoring the services offered to their specific needs. The study covers access to appropriate housing, including privacy and shelter in case of domestic violence, training and language courses and labour issues. A summary of international standards and of applicable European laws, as well as details on available funding from the European level are provided. International promising projects illustrate the way forward. In particular, concludes the study, integration policies need to include a proper dissemination of information regarding access to services among refugee women, the training of female cultural mediators to assist refugee women and the provision of proper training for women themselves to enhance their skills and education.
The study Female refugees and asylum seekers: the issue of integration, adopted by the FEMM Committee on 28 January, will be debated and voted by the European Parliament today 8 March.
Read also the Thematic Digest – Women refugees and asylum seekers in the EU, 3 March 2016, an overview of the EP's work on refugee women.