SolidarityNow, a Greek NGO humanitarian organization conducted a study shedding light on the harsh reality of employment for immigrant women in Greece. Participants in the study hailed from 28 different countries, with the majority (45%) originating from African countries, 25% from the Middle East and other countries (such as Pakistan), 22% from Ukraine, and 7.6% from Afghanistan.

The study aims to provide some insight into the profile of migrant women in Greece and offers some contextual background on the difficulties they face, especially the huge disparity between the domestic jobless rate, which stood at 10.8%in 2023, and the unemployment rate among the migrant population living in Greece which is double at 20%.

Of the women surveyed, 81% have completed secondary and tertiary education, while only 18% have completed only primary education. The majority of women with refugee and migrant backgrounds are employed in the tourism sector, with 26% working in accommodation and catering services.

The figures revealed that the most significant unemployment rates were observed among women (15.7%), individuals with primary to secondary education (26%), and those aged between 20 and 29 (53%).

Notably, Greece’s shadow economy is estimated to contribute to almost 30% of the country’s GDP, featuring one of the highest rates of uninsured workers (37%) and a substantial presence of irregular migrants in the workforce, accounting for 4.4%.

Some of the key findings of the survey were:

  • 76% identified the need to find legal work.
  • 72% stated the need to learn the Greek language or other EU languages (56%).
  • 56% want to continue their studies in Greece.
  • 65% require Greece to recognize their diplomas for their professional experience, skills.
  • 82% need to be employed in a friendly and safe environment.
  • More than 50% need someone to take care of their children while they are working.
  • 52% agree that is important for them to resolve their legal and/or fiscal issues.
  • 42% need medical or in-kind support (47%) support.
  • 53% need mentoring support work in Greece

Founded in 2013, SolidarityNow is a non-profit organization that provides support to the most vulnerable and marginalized members of society based on their needs. SN’s headquarters are in Athens with large operations throughout the country.