Migration as empowerment and a personal success story
Veronika Bajt and Mojca Frelih published the scientific article “Empowerment through Migration: Narratives of Successful Migrant Women’s Integration in Slovenia” in the special issue “Migrations, gender and integration”. An international approach” (Vol. 1 No. 31, 2022) of the international journal “Cuestiones Pedagógicas Journal“, edited by Teresa Terrón-Caro and Giovanna Campani.
Abstract: Existing analyses of transnational migration often highlight a growing demand for female migrant labour, as migrant women from Global South are geared into household services and care work in more affluent countries of the Global North. The actual demand for low skill labour means that migrant men and women fill the positions of undervalued and low-paid work avoided by “native” populations in host societies. This remains poorly reflected in state policies that predominantly define and regulate immigrants’ positions in terms of limitations. A growing body of research on migrant women’s integration has also in Slovenia been focusing on their position in the labour market, problematising deskilling and socio-economic exclusion, as well as describing their various coping strategies and agency in counteracting experiences of discrimination and downward social mobility. Drawing on new empirical data comprising migrant women’s narratives and their voices assembled in an online survey, in this paper we argue that migration should also be viewed as empowerment and a personal success story for many migrant women. We particularly highlight the socio-educational aspect of language acquisition as one of the key aspects of migrant integration, and offer new insight in terms of how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the integration processes of female migrants in Slovenia.