Lack of nuance in integration policy

By Christian BlockLex KlerenMisch Pautsch Switch to German for original article

Women immigrating to Luxembourg may face particular integration hurdles to which policymakers do not pay sufficient attention. Why differentiation is necessary – also with regard to sexual minorities.

The report of the European Migration Network (EMN) published last autumn did not seem to make much of a splash. Migration and asylum experts from all over Europe had stated in the study entitled Integration of migrant women that "the integration of migrant women is not currently a national priority [in most EU Member States], although some give it priority, primarily to improve gender equality". Despite the fact that, as various studies have shown, women can face a double disadvantage: as women on the one hand and as migrants on the other.

Luxembourg is one of a number of states with a gender mainstreaming policy. The European Institute for Gender Equality (Eige) understands the term as a "strategy" to achieve equality. The Council of Europe calls it a "policy approach that takes into account the interests and concerns of both women and men". However, specific needs of certain groups of people may be neglected in this method. Even though, according to the EMN report, it is possible for individual projects, for example to specifically promote job opportunities for women, to receive state funding, which is the case in Luxembourg. But more on that later.

The emeritus gender researcher Christel Baltes-Löhr had already aptly stated in 2017 in an article for the Caritas Social Almanac that, firstly, "women and the gender issue are only mentioned when it concerns specific projects on gender equality and that, secondly, one is still far away in Luxembourg from taking into account the implementation of the gender dimension as a transversal aspect that should reach into all areas and projects of politics".

For her, there are two points to consider on this issue. "There are more than two genders in this world, " says the researcher on the neglect of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, inter, non-binary and queer (LGBTIQ+) people in the debate. "Integration policies, in my view, must address all genders, " she adds. This starts with the reception of LGBTIQ+ refugees, when non-binary people have to share a room or accommodation with people who are usually strangers. This is associated with risks of physical, sexual or verbal abuse, as Baltes-Löhr notes together with Jasmin Donlic and Nina Held in an article on trans*, inter* and non-binary* gender people in the context of migration, flight and asylum. This article is taken from the textbook trans*, inter* and non-binary gendered people edited by Baltes-Löhr and René_ Rain Hornstein, which will be published by the editor Transcript his year.

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