A first overview of the integration of refugee womenAuthor(s):
- Thomas Liebig, OECD
- Kristian Tronstad
45% of refugees in Europe are women, yet little is known on their integration outcomes and the specific challenges they face. This report summarises prior research on the integration of refugee women, both compared with refugee men and other immigrant women. It also provides new comparative evidence from selected European and non-European OECD countries. Refugee women face a number of particular integration challenges associated with poorer health and lower education and labour market outcomes compared to refugee men, who are already disadvantaged in comparison with other migrant groups. They also show a peak in fertility in the year after arrival. A large fraction has come from countries where gender inequality is high and employment of women tends to be low. However, there is little correlation between indicators such gender differences in participation and employment in the origin and in the host country, suggesting that the integration issues can be addressed by host-country employment and education policy instruments. The report also finds that building basic skills in terms of educational attainment and host-country language training bears a high return in terms of improving labour market outcomes. It also provides intergenerational pay-off for their children. Against this backdrop, structured integration programmes such as the ones in the Scandinavian countries seem to be a worthwhile investment.