Are female migrants aged over 40 years left by the wayside?

Work discrimination against women is nothing new in the Czech Republic. It ranks, together with age discrimination, among the major obstacles to labour market placement. With ethnic and social discrimination, which may be faced by up to 189,000 regular female migrants in our territory, it is a barrier that is very difficult to surmount.

Press release, 23 July 2014

Female migrants in the Czech Republic often find themselves in a difficult position. Due to their citizenship, insufficient language skills, lack of familiarity with the environment, lack of experience and limited social relations they often become targets of exploitation, violation of employee rights and dependence on employers. They get into a position of a cheap labour force willing to accept any kind of work regardless of the level of their education; and thus they often become marginalised. With a growing age their situation gets even worse; when they reach retirement age they are often not entitled to receive pension allowances and, in extreme cases, they are at risk of becoming homeless.

The Association for Integration and Migration deals with these problems when providing legal and social counselling to female migrants. In July 2014, thanks to the financial support provided by the Open Society Fund Prague from the “Let´s Give (Wo)men a Chance“ programme funded from Norway Grants, it launched a project titled „Women at the Sidelines (?)“, which will focus on support for female foreigners aged 40+ in the Czech Republic.As part of the project we are planning to map out the situation this group of women finds themselves in,“ says Magda Faltová, Head of the Association for Integration and Migration. “We will prepare a research focused on female migrants aged over 50 years from former Yugoslavia who have gone through a migration experience, have long lived in the Czech Republic and face problems related to old age, in particular maintaining a decent living standard after having worked all their lives. We would like to make the Czech public aware of the situation of these women through a media campaign. As regards female migrants, they can come to our office for free advice already today. We are trying to find a solution to this difficult situation and reduce vulnerability of women in the labour market resulting from their origin, gender and age”, she adds.

The Association for Integration and Migration cooperates on the project with the Faculty of Humanities of Charles University and Bergen University, which will offer good practice sharing and solution to this problem in Norway. The results of the project, research and proposed solutions will be presented in a printed publication as well as at the final project conference in 2016.

For more information contact:

Magda Faltová, Head of the Association for Integration and Migration, 224 224 379, 731 584 126

Pavla Hradečná, Project Analyst,

The Project “Women at the Sidelines (?)” has been supported by the Open Society Fund Prague from the Let’s Give (Wo)men a Chance programme, funded from Norway Grants. With Norway Grants, Norway contributes towards a reduction in economic and social disparity and the strengthening of mutual cooperation in Europe. It promotes, above all else, environmental protection, research and scholarships, civil society development, health care, children, gender equality and an improvement in the efficiency of justice. The Let’s Give Women a Chance programme promotes equal opportunities for women and men both in their work and personal lives as well as prevention and help for victims of domestic and gender-based violence in the Czech Republic. It is operated by the Open Society Fund Prague, which has been developing values of open society and democracy in the Czech Republic since 1992. Project is implemented by the Association for Integration and Migration, Faculty of Humanities - Charles University in Prague and University of Bergen.