Gender Attitudes of Muslim Migrants in Western and Northern Europe
This study aims to analyze differences between gender attitudes of migrants and local population in 8 countries of Western and Northern Europe. It tests whether migrants from developing countries, especially from the Muslim world, tend to follow European trends in their attitude towards gender equality or they tend to treat gender equality issues in the same manner as in their countries of origin. This topic is of particular importance as attitudes towards women’s rights are proven to be a strong predictor of support for democracy and of liberal values in general. This study uses the data of the 5th wave of the European Social Survey, a representative national sample for the most European societies. The results show that migrants are a little more conservative in their gender attitudes than local Europeans, but the influence of this factor is often overestimated, whereas age and level of education exceed migrant status and Islam as predictors of liberal or conservative gender attitudes. Moreover, attitudes towards women’s rights among migrants are very similar to the attitudes of the local population in any particular country. Consequently, migrants in the most liberal countries such as Sweden show more support for gender equality than locals in Germany or Switzerland. However, Muslim religion remains a robust medium-sized negative predictor of gender attitudes.