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Towards a Gendered Evaluation of (Highly) Skilled Immigration Policies in Europe



Immigration policies reflect to varying degrees the calibration and stratification of desirable knowledge. The criteria adopted have varied across countries and immigration systems. However, despite the evidence that skilled women migrate more than men, little attention has been paid to the extent to which immigration policies impact differently on women and men and result in gender inequalities, and how the valuation of skills is gendered in its criteria and outcomes. Several European states have developed policies to attract the (highly) skilled in an attempt to make themselves as competitive as possible within a knowledge economy. The key criteria are salaries and educational qualifications which, together with the differential evaluation of skills, produce gender outcomes. This article explores how European policies for the (highly) skilled produce and reinforce inequalities in gendered circulations, not just between women and men, but also in terms of intersectional differences, such as race/nationality and age.

Policy Implications

  • Publish more disaggregated data by gender, race/nationality and age to support analysis of the implications of immigration policies.
  • Develop gender-based and intersectional assessments of immigration policies.
  • Encourage states and international organizations to take into account the (in)equality aspects in the development of immigration policies.