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VAM-Velferd, arbeid og migrasjon

On Equal Grounds? Migrant Women’s Participation in Labour and Labour Related Activities (EQUALPART)

Alternative title: På like vilkår? Innvandrerkvinners deltakelse i arbeid og arbeidsrelaterte aktiviteter (EQUALPART)

Awarded: NOK 12.0 mill.

Despite the Norwegian welfare state’s rather massive investment in measures directed at fast-tracking recently arrived migrants into the labour market, migrant women in Norway, and refugees in particular, have a much lower labour participation than other groups. EQUALPART focuses on the inclusion of migrant women in working life and employment beyond the period of the first years after their arrival (post-intro), and on the different and multi-scalar contexts that shape their labour market outcomes. EQUALPART includes legal perspectives: Municipalities are obliged, by law, to provide and adapt services according to the needs of various groups of users (‘likeverdige tjenester’). However, the implications of this are unclear. How does it affect the development of services that provide opportunities for migrant/refugee women’s participation in labour on equal grounds, beyond the Introduction Programme? The prevailing low labour participation among migrant women has been criticised by human rights bodies and gives reason to question whether current welfare state services (in the hands of the municipalities) are capable of, or willing to, provide this group with equal opportunities for participation in the labour market. Research on the effects of a measure (NorA) that is considered as promising in promoting inclusion of vulnerable groups (migrants with extensive follow-up needs) is part of this research project. The project´s overall ambition is to understand contexts and dynamics that shape an inclusive work life and prevent social inequality and (long-term) poverty, and the role of the welfare state (as migrants' main employer) in promoting inclusion. Our approach is multi-methodological and multi- and interdisciplinary. The research design enables us to explore the role of different scales (individual, local, regional, and national) and the interplay between these scales in shaping migrant women’s opportunities for, and perceptions of, labour participation. Web: https://www.hvl.no/en/project/2530045/

EQUALPART addresses knowledge needs on the interplay between different factors at different levels, more specifically, on how and which context(s) matter(s) to understand migrant women’s marginalized position in the labour market and seeks to explore possible solutions to the identified challenges. EQUALPART focuses on the inclusion of migrant women in working life and employment beyond the period of the first years after their arrival (post-intro), and on the different and multi-scalar contexts that shape their labour market outcomes. The project applies a multi-and interdisciplinary approach including a) research on measures and their effectiveness (including an RCT study) b) a quantitative study of the impact of local (neighbourhood) characteristics on labour market outcomes c) a social-legal analysis of the implementation of services in order to provide equal opportunities for all d) two qualitative studies where we study different individual agents' perceptions and personal experiences and how these development over time (0-18 months) as well as a comparative case study where we explore implications of the policy idea(l) of inclusion through labour (the health care sector and elderly care as an example) on migrant women's opportunities for participation on equal grounds and upward social mobility.

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VAM-Velferd, arbeid og migrasjon