PM: Immigrant women must contribute to society

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

Stabbings in Copenhagen over the weekend send three to hospital (Photo: PublicDomainPictures)
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. 

(photo: D-A-D facebook page)
Mid-August music: Mum’s the word if you fancy a blast from the past
D-A-D Fri Aug 7, 22:00; Tivoli; free adm with entry to gardens The ...
Parents are concerned that the old man in a wheelchair figurine is sending out the wrong message (photo: Lego)
New Lego set upsetting parents of disabled children
Lego recently released its Duplo Community People Set, a collection design...
Do not fear the large glowing orb in the sky! (photo: Michael Ely)
Here comes the sun … no really!
With daytime highs forecast to be above 20 C and DMI promising mostly clear...
Female students are predominant at five out of the six Copenhagen University faculties (photo: iStock)
Gender gap at University of Copenhagen
More women than men will attend the University of Copenhagen this academic ...
(photo: Cphartweek.dk)
Spiralling into expression at Copenhagen Art Week
Following on from an art weekend in Aarhus at the end of May, it is the cap...
CPH Pride will light up the streets of Copenhagen in mid-August (Photo: istock)
Mid-August events: Proud, loud, no clouds allowed
CPH Pride Aug 11-15, Parade: Aug 15, 13:00; Smallegade, Frederiksberg City...