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Crushed Hopes

Underemployment and Deskilling among Skilled Migrant Women

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This report is a collective publication comprising a review of international literature on the subject of migrant deskilling and underemployment from a gender perspective and three empirical case studies from Switzerland, Canada and the United Kingdom. It explores the disproportionate difficulties skilled migrant women can face in transferring their skills and finding employment commensurate with their education when relocating to a new country. The case studies highlight situations in which migratory status and labour market dynamics can combine to constrain skilled and highly skilled migrant women to low-skilled occupations despite their often high human capital. They also analyse the impact that such occupational downgrading can have on migrant women’s well-being and the strategies that women can adopt to regain a professional status.

English

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Conclusions and perspectives

In recent decades, international migration theory and research have made great progress, moving from the near invisibility of women as migrants (Boyd and Grieco, 2003) to today’s situation where increasing efforts are being made to better understand why and how women are on the move. Although the general tendency to automatically categorize women migrants as dependent family members is being increasingly challenged, it cannot however be said that gender considerations have permeated all areas of migration management and research.

English

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