This research, commissioned by Settlement Services International and carried out by NATSEM, analyses trends and disparities in the economic participation of migrant and refugee women in Australia. The report is accompanied by a policy brief, Unlocking Potential: Addressing the economic participation of migrants and refugee women in Australia, that shines a light on actions needed to unlock the economic potential of migrant and refugee women.

Key findings:

  1. Economic participation for migrant and refugee women depends on a number of factors including country of origin, educational level and recognition of qualifications, English language proficiency and domestic or family context.
  2. There is a persistent marked difference between the economic trajectories of women from OECD countries, women from non-OECD countries and refugee women compared to Australian-born women.
  3. The data suggest that cultural attitudes and gender norms have some impact on labour market participation with higher unemployment rates for women born in countries where the difference between men’s and women’s labour force participation rates is higher than in Australia.
  4. Women born overseas are on average better educated than Australian-born women. However, recognition of overseas qualifications and skills continues to negatively influence labour force outcomes.


Related Information

Unlocking Potential: Addressing the economic participation of migrants and refu…

Publication Details
Access Rights Type:
Occasional Paper 4