Why are we running this project?
As immigrant women often assume responsibility for the integration process, not just for themselves but also for their children, partners, and other family members, they play a central role in an immigration society. At the same time, they are more marginalized than male immigrants in society, the labor market, education, and health care. Many stakeholders, including support centers and municipalities, view immigrant women as a difficult target group to reach. However, recent female immigrants are in great need of information and advice on a range of issues relating to social participation. They are more likely than men to search for such information on digital media, especially on social media. The majority of stakeholders, however, have placed little emphasis on this in their attempts to reach the target group, with the result that digital advice and information services are not geared toward the specific needs of women who have recently immigrated. So far, direct exchange between information and advice providers and the target group aimed at improving and further developing existing services remains a rarity.
What are our goals?
Digital Active Women raises awareness among municipalities, immigration and social service centers, as well as self-run organizations for immigrants, of the needs of women who have recently immigrated with regard to digital advice and information. Further, it supports such groups in adapting and expanding their services in this regard, as well as in developing new, innovative approaches. In order to include the perspective of recent female immigrants, Digital Active Women actively involves them in the process from the very beginning, making them experts on their own life situation and their resulting needs for advice and information. The project plays a role in giving recent female immigrants a strong voice in the public sphere and in raising visibility with regard to their needs.
How does the project work?
Digital Active Women applies the citizen science approach. Together with co-researchers from different communities, Minor is developing specific recommendations and analyzing examples of models for customized digital advice and information services for recent female immigrants on the issues of education, health, and work, as well as political and civic participation. To this end, the co-researchers will conduct surveys on social media with women who have recently immigrated to Germany in order to determine their needs, wants, experiences, and suggestions regarding digital advice and information services.
In addition, the co-researchers will review the digital information and advice services on offer for recent female immigrants from municipalities, immigration and social service centers, as well as self-run organizations for immigrants, and will evaluate and assess such services along with Minor. The results will be used to advise and assist the aforementioned stakeholders so that they can better orient their digital information and advice services toward women who have recently immigrated. In this way, Digital Active Women promotes direct exchange between the stakeholders and the target group of recent female immigrants.
Who are the target groups?
Digital Active Women is aimed at women who have recently migrated from EU and non-member states and have been living in Germany for a maximum of seven years. Such women must be interested in academic work and socio-political engagement, but an academic background is in no way a prerequisite. Instead, the aim is for the co-researchers themselves to form a heterogeneous group in terms of origin, educational background, family situation, and residency status, so that as many different perspectives as possible may be included in the process.
However, the project is also aimed at advice and information service providers who are interested in engaging directly with the target group and improving their services on the basis of this exchange. The focus is on municipalities, immigration and social service centers, and self-run organizations for immigrants that provide advice and information on at least one of the topics of education, health, work, or political and civil society participation. Ultimately, all of the above-mentioned topics should be covered.