5-6 JUNE 2018 / Tour & Taxis / Brussels

Investing in migrant women

How to support long-term integration of migrant women through economic empowerment?

Lab debate
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
14:00 to 15:15

Migration has become a most pressing concern in Europe. In addition to the recent crisis, migratory pressures will increase over the coming decades and many countries will face the complex challenge of long-term integration. While labour inclusion plays a crucial role in the integration of migrants, research shows that migrant women face double discrimination in accessing employment, due both to status and gender. This marginalization of migrant women is ultimately detrimental to the social cohesion of their host communities. How can we support long-term integration by facilitating economic empowerment and financial inclusion of migrant women? This lab session will discuss initiatives and means that support migrant women’s access to sustainable income-generation. 

Key points

  • Society can do more to benefit from migration.
  • The migration narrative needs to concentrate on the positive impacts.
  • Migrant women are an untapped entrepreneurship resource.
  • Access to childcare, education and financing services empowers migrant women.


Migration is a pressing concern in many countries. In Europe, migratory pressures are expected to increase over the coming decades. The complex challenge of long-term integration is being tackled by many societies. As lessons are learned, some societies are now better equipped to seize the opportunities that migration brings.

European initiatives and projects that support migrants throughout the integration process were debated. The first step in the process is to help migrants face some of the challenges that they find on arrival. These include the language barrier, negotiating different social and culture norms and, for highly skilled migrants, the non-recognition of qualifications. 

Some inspiring projects at local level are helping to change the narrative around migration. They do so by presenting positive role models. For example, connecting people – locals and newly arrived migrants – around a shared interest, such as cuisine or the hosting of refugees in locals&r


In seeking to support migrants, overly targeted approaches serve to exclude rather than include – projects should encourage social cohesion by embracing diversity.

Organised by


Shada Islam
Friends of Europe
Nuria Diez Guardia
Policy Officer
European Commission - DG for Migration and Home Affairs (HOME)
Andrea Limone
Inesse Benmohammed
Director of Entrepreneurship Programmes
Isabelle Brun
Technical Advisor
Council of Europe Development Bank