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Conference 2011

Migrant women in European cities and municipalities: “Challenges and potentials from a gender perspective, promising approaches of local authorities”

The Office of Gender Equality of the Canton of Basel City in cooperation with the Women’s Department of the City of Vienna organised the FemCities Conference 2011 in Basel.

The FemCities conference considered the situation of migrant women from different points of view, questioned stereotypes and prejudice, and explored the scope of action of local authorities and the benefits of local policies that focus on the potentials of migrant women.

A stereotypical view of migrant women, traditional roles of women and men in our society as well as prejudice and fear in general influence the discourse on this topic in media and politics. Discriminating factors that limit the opportunities of migrant women are not considered in the discourse. But migrant women are often trapped in their traditional roles or face structural obstacles that push them into a traditional role. The skills, resources and potentials of migrant women are often neglected and not appreciated while the public discourse focuses on their shortcomings. The fact that migrant women do not get the opportunities they deserve and that this is a great loss for society and the economy is hardly mentioned in the political discourse and in shaping society and the economy.