PM: Immigrant women must contribute to society

Helle Thorning-Schmidt says higher expectations are needed and engages in blame game with Venstre

February 20th, 2013 7:50 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Immigrant women from non-Western countries make up 25 percent of long-term cash welfare benefit (kontanthjælp) recipients. According to PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt (Socialdemokraterne), this is unacceptable. At her weekly press conference on Tuesday, she expressed her concern and stressed the urgency of a solution.

Thorning-Schmidt said that the problem is that these women have not been met by any clear expectations regarding their presence in the labour market. But if they are to benefit from Denmark's welfare system, the PM said, it is necessary that they start contributing to the Danish society.

“It is not fair to them. But it is not fair to the rest of the society who are paying for it either,” said Thorning-Schmidt.

She stressed that it is unacceptable for someone to receive kontanthjælp for ten years. 

“We have to find a way of getting these particular women back on the labour market,” Thorning-Schmidt said.

She acknowledged, however, that it is going to be difficult and maybe even impossible to rectify the situation, and placed the blame squarely at the feet of the former Venstre-Konservative government. 

“It is a problem we have inherited,” Thorning-Schmidt said, adding that it would be addressed in the upcoming kontanthjælp reform.

Eyvind Vesselbo, a spokesperson for Venstre, directed the blame back at the current coalition government, saying that the immigrant women are not receiving the help they need. 

“It seems more that there is an unwillingness to do something about it because large parts of the government consider these women weak, and see them as people who can't speak Danish and as people with no qualifications,” said Vesselbo.

Vesselbo said that the women should be forced into the labour market and that councils should explain to the women, and their husbands, that cultural differences over gender roles are not an acceptable excuse for not working. 

Lars Løkke has his claws on power again (photo: Johannes Jansson)
How Lars Løkke defied the odds to return to power
If Lars Løkke Rasmussen was an animal, he would surely be a cat. Not ev...
Lars Løkke Rasmussen's new government (photo: Hasse Ferrold)
The first 100 days
Mr Rasmussen is certainly the most skilled dealmaker in Parliament. And now...
Here you are the chef and you decide the menu
Roskilde 15: Foodies get your jam on!
  While some are chilling in their camps, getting drunk or taking i...
The last time Larsen made the headlines was over his stance on the word 'neger' (photo: esbenlundelarsen.dk)
Science minister doubts Darwin: God created Earth
Esben Lunde Larsen – the new minister for education and research, who wil...
Gentofte Municipality considers it never too early to become bilingual (photo: iStock)
English for three-year-olds spreading from Gentofte
Gentofte Municipality has begun teaching three-year-olds English, and the p...
"Embrace each other, see the person you have next to you and hug them"
Roskilde 2015: We saw stars … as many as seks Machina
They hadn't been back to Roskilde since 2010, but judging by their re...