Refugee women have increasingly found their way to Europe in recent years, but face specific challenges when it comes to participation in the host society. They are less likely to consult integration services than men, and are more likely to feel anxiety and fear of separation from their children due to their experiences of war and the forced migration. Rates of depression and anxiety disorder are higher among refugee women than men. While many female refugees have an equally high or even higher level of formal education attainment than men, they also have less actual labor market experience. The reasons are manifold and remain underexplored so far.
“If you educate a man, you educate an individual. If you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”
In cooperation with the Public Employment Service Austria (AMS), the research project WIN collects quantitative and qualitative primary data on the economic, social and cultural inclusion of female and male refugees in Austria. A cross-sectional study and qualitative focus groups will be conducted to explore formal and informal integration experiences, with a particular focus on the still under-researched group of refugee women. In particular, the survey focuses on integration beyond the labor market, since female refugees are less likely to be registered as active job seekers and/or course participants, or register much later than their male peers due to a high fertility rate, childcare obligations, and other factors. At the same time, the economic, social and cultural participation of refugee women is a key indicator for successful inclusion in the host society since women play a vital role for the integration of their families and the entire community.