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Denmark: Lack of gender equality in asylum and integration processes

Denmark: Lack of gender equality in asylum and integration processes


EWSI Country Coordinator for Denmark, Michala Clante Bendixen, and integration expert Tanja Burke Jensen describe in this analysis in Danish newspaper Politiken the ways in which refugee and migrant women face systemic discrimination in Denmark. Access the full analysis in English here.

Both the present and the former Danish integration ministers are campaigning to support women from ethnic minorities against social exclusion, and current integration efforts are focused on bringing more migrant women into the labour market. Unfortunately, though, the ministers have not addressed the many existing issues resulting from women facing a system designed for men. These include:

  • Staying in remote asylum centres isolate women from society, and lack of child care support makes it hard for them to participate in activities there;
  • Criteria for refugee status favour asylum motives typical for men, and rarely recognise motives typical for women;
  • Reception and integration programs offered by municipalities do not consider the special requirements that women often have;
  • The responsibility for the care and integration of children weighs much heavier on mothers than on fathers;
  • Access to permanent residence and Danish citizenship requires high a level of language skills and a full-time job, both of which are harder for women to obtain.

When women fall behind men in terms of employment, women’s cultural and family backgrounds always get the blame. In reality, there are many other factors holding women back when it comes to participating in society and living up to demands. The gender discrimination in the system is not deliberate, but a result of insufficient attention to and recognition of the gender angle.

Both authors of this analysis have extensive knowledge of integration issues: Burke developed the FAIR Integration app, which translates and explains Danish legislation and practice to newcomers, and Bendixen has worked for many years as a legal counsellor for refugees, establishing the NGO Refugees Welcome and the website

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Watch: The EU Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion (2021-2027) explained


The European Commission recently unveiled its new EU Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion (2021-2027).

What do you need to know about this new plan? We summarised its key points in a short explainer - watch it now.

For more details on the Action Plan, check out this page

Spain: New initiative for the reintegration of former migrant minors

Spain: New initiative for the reintegration of former migrant minors


Unaccompanied migrant minors who arrive in Catalonia are expelled from the support system as soon as they reach adult age, which causes many difficulties in their integration.

In attempting to resolve this problem the Secretary for Children, Adolescents and Youth, to whom the Directorate General for Children and Adolescents (DGAIA) reports, is promoting a new outreach project for the integration of homeless adults.

The project is managed by the municipalities themselves, in conjunction with the territorial services of each area, and led overall by the Generalitat. It is designed from a community perspective to provide 'half open' intervention, which means that services are run externally, in the streets rather than in closed centres as with other projects. It is not expected that young people will come to the social services themselves, rather they are sought out through outreach and offered tailored support. The first step involves searching for such young people living on the streets, in unfavourable conditions in occupied housing or in abandoned vehicles.

Each individual case will be managed by a 'social commission' formed of people from the local municipality police, child social services and health services. For every ten homeless youths there will be a full-time teacher and social integration coordinator, and a coordinator to manage institutional relations in each municipality.

The priority of this new project is to remove homeless young people from a situation of vulnerability, by connecting them with existing resources and acting as a link between them, existing centres for the protection of young migrants and the host community.

The work of the 'teachers' will be to assist migrant youth in accessing specific services, such as those for processing documentation to legalise their stay in the country or those which facilitate detoxification from chemical products and drugs (an added complexity for young vulnerable migrants without legal papers). These youngsters' precariousness increases if they have not been able to legalise their presence in the country, due to its very restrictive rules for foreigners.

Find out more.

Canada-EU Migration Platform: watch closing high-level event live here

Canada-EU Migration Platform: watch closing high-level event live here


In November 2020, the EU and Canada organised a series of events as part of their Migration Platform dedicated to the integration challenges and opportunities faced by migrant women on both sides of the Atlantic. The discussions led to a series of recommendations which will be presented at the concluding event on 18 December, the International Migrants Day.

Together with migrant women speakers Anila Noor and Iman Daboussy, European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson and Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino will share their insights and expertise on this critical issue.

 Join us LIVE here for this final discussion on Friday, 18 December, at 16:00 CET/10:00 EST:


 Tell us the top word you would use to describe migrant women and/or their contribution to our societies. Vote here before the end on this live.

 Read more about Canada and EU's commitment and mobilisation for a closer cooperation for the effective integration of migrant women.


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