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Female migrants from developed countries in Southern Europe: A study of integration

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The EU's invisible highly skilled migrant woman

How highly skilled Anglophone migrant women can seem invisible for the EU while in the EU and under what conditions their high-skilled labour can be lost reveals a policy gap in local community building.

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The world has become more migrant and nearly 50 % of migrants are women. They cross borders for reasons such as marriage as well as for career and lifestyle choices upon retirement. The ways in which mobility affects their lives and how much their skills are actually utilised by the host society are just some of the questions the EU-funded 'Female migrants from developed countries in southern Europe: A study of integration' (FEMIDE) project sought to answer. Since most studies on female migration focus on migrants who move west from Asia or post-communist Europe, they may mistakenly be perceived as the only type of migrant. However, there are also many highly skilled and educated women who move to developed countries. Just why they move and how they integrate is unknown. Thus, the project also looked at the extent that nationality matters and how integration varies as a result of it. As such, FEMIDE examined the experiences of women from high-income, English-speaking countries in Italy and Greece, ranging in age from 30 to 70. A broad socioeconomic spectrum of their integration into the host culture was outlined. Research revealed that despite their professional qualifications and visa-friendly status, Anglophone women in southern Europe are underemployed. Furthermore, marriage to local men and family ties are the gateway to the host society for these women. Findings of the study will be useful for local policymakers to help implement community measures.


Anglophone, migrant women, high-skilled labour, female migrants, integration

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