Women’s labour market participation rates differ substantially between ethnic groups in many Western countries, with ethnic minority women often having lower participation rates than women from the native majority group. This is perceived as problematic due to the negative consequences for these women’s economic independence and upward mobility in the next generation. Earlier research has tried to explain ethnic group differences in female labor market participation with compositional differences between these groups in human capital resources and family conditions, but, typically, unexplained differences remain. This brings up the question which other factors can explain the remaining ethnic differences.
In this talk I will address this question by presenting findings from my research project on women’s labor market participation across ethnic groups in the Netherlands, the UK, and Germany. The project focuses on the role of cultural norms and values for women’s labor market participation and on the question to what extent common explanatory models of female labor market participation, developed mostly for native majority women in Western countries, can be used to understand the labor market behavior of ethnic minority women. The presented studies address how ethnic differences in women’s labor market participation are shaped by women’s own gender attitudes and religiosity, their partner’s economic resources and gender attitudes, and the national context of the host-societies.
The results I obtained elucidate how research on women’s labor market participation can benefit from taking into account the increasing ethnic diversity of Western societies. At the same time, this work shows that the literature on immigrant integration should pay more attention to the specific needs and experience of ethnic minority women as they differ from those of ethnic minority men, especially in the realm of family and work.
Yassine Khoudja, Utrecht University
Date & time:
23 Oct 2017 15:00 pm - 23 Oct 2017 16:30 pm
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