Labour Market Integration of Female Refugees - A comparative study of the Swedish and Norwegian labout markets
Despite the considerable attention the labour market integration of female refugees receives from policy-makers and researchers, their employment rates are still the lowest among other population groups across Europe. Many studies have addressed the barriers that female refugees confront to access the labour market, which have largely presented the perspective of policy-makers and academics. By contrast, the perception of female refugees has been marginalised in the academic field. Therefore, this study pays attention to female refugees’ experiences in accessing the labour market. The aim is to analyse and compare the obstacles that female refugees can face in entering the labour market in Sweden and Norway. Another aim is to suggest some mechanisms to overcome these obstacles. The study uses empirical materials that are collected by conducting qualitative interviews with female refugees and some stakeholders in both countries. In addition, the study analyses and compares the laws on the introduction programmes in Sweden and Norway. The findings suggest that female refugees in Norway are more satisfied with the quality of the introduction programme and the Public Employment Service (PES) than their counterparts in Sweden. Moreover, the findings show that discrimination is more pronounced in Sweden than in Norway. Nevertheless, there are no considerable differences between female refugees’ experiences when it comes to the individual barriers or other institutional and structural barriers. The study concludes that a less-multicultural model with improving the quality of the introduction programme and the PES may lead to better labour market integration of female refugees.