Research outcomes and publication Women at the Sidelines (?) - Gender, Migration and Ageing

The present publication refers to a specific topic of the status and situation of migrant women and women with a migration background in upper-middle and senior age in the Czech Republic. It is a theme in the Czech environment yet unresolved, which, however, has been gradually gaining in size and, therefore, in relevance.

The first part of the publication describes results of an extensive Analysis of the Position and Situation of Older Middle-Aged and Senior Migrant Women and Women with a Migration Background, which addresses the issue of older middle-aged and senior migrant women and Czech female citizens with a migration background in the territory of the Czech Republic. The presented (shorter) version of the analysis shows results of research into the position of this group in the Czech Republic: after having outlined essential characteristics of this group and its situation in Czech society, it focuses mainly on analysing the legislative situation and the resulting implementation practice, which impacts the life of senior (and/or older middle-aged) migrant women and women with a migration background in the Czech Republic. The analysis was motivated by the attempts to describe the issue of gender in migration to both professional and non-professional public and, ideally, to initiate changes in treating women with a migration background. Therefore, even the shorter version of the analysis contains both the description of particular areas relevant for the life of these migrant women in the Czech Republic, and specific proposed measures aimed to improve their situation and strengthen their rights.

The second part of the publication deals with a specific group of senior migrant women in the Czech Republic. The presented qualitative research covers a group of women aged 50+ with a refugee background coming from former Yugoslavia who have lived in the Czech Republic for more than twenty years. The research raised mainly the following questions: how women with a refugee background reflect upon their personal migration life trajectory; what importance they place in their narratives on the life in war and the beginnings of life in a new society; how they perceive their gender identity and its transformations in the process of migration; how they reflect upon their role and refugee
experience at an advanced age and especially at retirement. Moreover, how normative pressures influence care and emotional work of women in the process of migration. The research argues that the refugee experience of women is cyclical rather than linear, acquiring new meanings in various life stages of women and in various social (including institutions) and transnational contexts. Findings include that the women face an undignified level of old age pension, because they have not worked for enough years in either country in order to qualify for a decent pension. They have to stay active on the labour market at a time when other people are already drawing a pension, and yet their real chances on the labour market are highly problematic. They thus often find work only in precarious jobs.