Female marriage migrants not entering workforce

Moroccan and Turkish Dutch are less often marrying a partner from their country of origin. They mainly marry in their own circle, but not over the border. This is mainly caused by weaker family ties in their country of origin.

This is evident from a report on marriage migration published today by the Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP).  The main countries of origin for marriage migrants are Turkey, Morocco, Thailand, Iraq and the former Soviet Union. In the four years prior to 2011 the Netherlands got about 40 thousand marriage migrants from these countries.

In 2001, nearly 60 percent of the Turkish Dutch married a marriage migrant from Turkey. Now it is only 15 percent. With Moroccan Dutch it was 55 percent in 2001 and is now down to 17 percent. According to the SCP the decrease occurred mainly in 2007 and then did not continue.

The tightening of legal requirements plays a roll in the decline in marriage migrants. Other causes include a wider range of available Dutch partners of Turkish and Moroccan origin, weaker ties with the country of origin and weaker family ties in that country. According to the SCP a previous bad experience with a marriage migrant can also play a role.

Male marriage migrants often find a job quicker than men who came to the Netherlands for other reasons. Female marriage migrants rarely have work. The jobs almost never fit with the training and experience in the country of origin. According to the SCP, the language is an obstacle and foreign qualifications are under valued.

Gender roles also play a role. Men are expected to contribute to the household and therefore can not be picky about finding work, while women find their calling in motherhood.

A dependency relationship exists between the marriage migrant and the partner, which involves a series of risks. A marriage migrant must live in the same house as their partner for at least five years or lose their residence permit. The marriage migrant is financially dependent on the partner as well as socially isolated. According to the SCP the is at increased risk of domestic violence, honor-related violence, abuse, exploitation and isolation.