(Not) in the name of gender equality: Migrant women, empowerment, employment, and minority women's organizations

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In neoliberal times, Danish state agencies contract with minority women’s organizations to provide integration services aiming to enhance migrant women’s employment activity rate through empowerment. Based on policy documents and studies of minority women’s bodies, and conceptualizing empowerment from above and below as different modalities of governmentality, this chapter analyses the interaction between minority women’s organizations and state agencies. The analysis suggests that they are interdependent, with each side offering distinct resources when implementing labour market integration programmes. Their interaction is a power game pervaded by tensions. Because of economic dependence, women’s organizations are made to comply with state agendas, with the risk of becoming tools for market-driven partnerships for economic growth, and partly sidestepping the goal of political empowerment from below. Yet, they also take advantage of their expertise and position as gatekeepers, contesting state goals by pursuing their own, which revolve around their participatory-democratic agendas and struggles for minority women’s equal rights, recognition, and voices, alongside economic self-sufficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransforming Identities in Contemporary Europe : Critical Essays on Knowledge, Inequality and Belonging
EditorsElisabeth Lund Engebretsen, Mia Liinason
Number of pages16
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Publication date13 May 2023
ISBN (Print)9781032151113 [hbk], 9781032156514 [pbk]
ISBN (Electronic)9781003245155
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2023

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