Utrecht's "Neighbourhood Academy"


City of Utrecht, Netherlands


Migrant and refugee women often face increased challenges compared to their male counterparts, when it comes to economic vulnerability, inadequate access to social services, and increased risk of discrimination and violence. Moreover, it can be more difficult for them to reach out to host communities due to societal norms and expectations. Addressing these challenges is essential for promoting gender equality, as it involves creating environments that provide equal opportunities, protection, and support for migrant and refugee women, ensuring their full integration and empowerment within the community.


The City of Utrecht, along with other cities like Gothenburg and Leipzig, have recognised the need to specifically target migrant and refugee women to overcome said intersectional challenges. In Utrecht, the “Neighbourhood Academy” creates a space where migrant and refugee women already residing in the city can meet those who have just arrived to listen to their grievances and, in the end, to support each other. Additionally, projects like “Welkom in Utrecht” support migrant and refugee mothers in attending their Dutch classes by offering childcare free of charge.


Integration projects specifically targeting female migrants and refugees, like the ones mentioned above, can have a profound impact by addressing the unique challenges faced by this demographic, including cultural adjustment, language barriers, and gender-specific concerns. The “Neighbourhood Academy” specifically has provided a safe space for new migrant and refugee women to voice their concerns and be heard by women who share similar experiences. By providing tailored support the projects can empower women to actively participate in their new communities, fostering inclusivity and contributing to broader social cohesion.

City of Utrecht - Homepage 

Neighbourhood Academy - Project 

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