Empowerment, Integration and Participation

Women’s Empowerment, Integration and Participation Project – WEIP

Women’s migration to Europe is strongly linked to the feminisation of poverty and the search for better employment and educational opportunities. Gender discrimination and violence often also play a role in the decision to migrate. Whilst it may open new opportunities for women, migration can also reinforce restrictive gender stereotypes and increase women’s lack of decision-making power.

In addition to this, Europe is also currently facing a massive influx of refugees coming from war-torn countries and the partners of this project are already seeing an increase in numbers of refugees. The experience of refugee women in particular, is marked by additional layers of discrimination that need gendered responses to facilitate integration.

In our experience migrant and refugee women (MRW) face the language barrier, are not familiarised with the system and end up trapped in low skill/low paid jobs, often facing gender abuse and exploitation, including sexual exploitation. Gender roles affect MRW’s integration and the ways in which they are able to contribute to and benefit from their destination communities.

In response to this, LAWRS has set up and is currently leading the Women’s Empowerment Integration and Participation (WEIP), which aims to provide MRW in four EU countries (Spain, Italy, Poland and the UK) with enhanced opportunities for integration.

The objectives of the WEIP project are focused on providing new and recent migrant and refugee women (MRW) with a better start to life in the EU and improving their chances of integration in the host countries by increasing their skills, access to services and employment opportunities. The planned activities will address the priorities of this project by providing concrete initiatives such as language and skills training, employability activities, specialist advice and education advice and recreational pursuits for MRW in four European countries.

Through this holistic programme of complementary activities, WEIP will help foster the integration of MRW but also facilitate the access to work and improve job prospects for MRW that are often trapped in low skilled and low paid jobs.

The partners of this project are:
KARAT Coalition http://www.karat.org/
Differenza Donna http://www.differenzadonna.org/
Red Acoge http://www.redacoge.org/es/
Latin American Women’s Rights Service – LAWRS

Contact and information:
Alma Gatica, WEIP Project Coordinator: alma@lawrs.org.uk

“Co-funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union”