This note summarises the content of ENoMW's presentation during the European Forum 2023 which was held in Madrid.
There are many legal and practical obstacles linked to the legal status of migrant women, which prevent or limit their access to healthcare and social services, as well as to education and early childhood care. In many EU countries, access to care for chronic illness, disability or other long-term health needs is very limited for migrants, and virtually non-existent for those in an irregular situation. Some migrants risk having their residence status revoked or not renewed if they access social assistance services and benefits, due in particular to the vague definition of "unreasonable burden on the social assistance system of the host Member State" in the European directive on freedom of movement (2004). Many migrant women are confined to jobs in the care sectors and the informal economy, which are generally excluded from contributory social insurance schemes, such as those providing maternity protection and healthcare. Administrative requirements and procedures, costs, language barriers, lack of appropriate services and access to information, fear of deportation and sexist and racist discrimination - both in policy and in practice - are further barriers to access to public services and social benefits for migrants.