to Content
Header Image

13: New freedoms, old constraints? Challenges of integrating female refugees in Austria

Breakout / Future of the EU
in englischer Sprache

The challenges of integrating women are rarely the subject of public attention compared to those regarding men. What does it take to overcome old constraints and take advantage of the opportunities in Austria and Europe, contrary to traditional gender roles and patriarchal family structures?

Lawyer, Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Seyran Ates; Managing Director, Ibn Rushd-Goethe Moschee GmbH, Berlin
Interpreter, Austrian Integration Fund, Vienna
Founder and President, Forum for a progressive Islam, Zurich
Austrian Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Vienna
Self-employed, Graz Chair

Seyran ATES

Lawyer, Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Seyran Ates; Managing Director, Ibn Rushd-Goethe Moschee GmbH, Berlin

1983-1995 Law Studies, Freie Universität Berlin (Interruption 1984-1990)
1995-1997 Traineeship, Court of Appeal, Berlin
1997-2006 Self-employed Lawyer, Berlin
since 2003 Author, Berlin
2006-2007 Freelance Writer, Berlin
2007-2009 Independent Lawyer; Author, Berlin
since 2009 Author, Berlin
2009-2011 Managing Director, Fimas Finanzmanagement GmbH & Co KG, Berlin
2011 Managing Director, Hausverwaltung SOWA-CASA GmbH, Berlin
since 2010 Lawyer, Berlin
since 2017 Managing Director, Ibn Rushd-Goethe Moschee, Berlin


Interpreter, Austrian Integration Fund, Vienna

2000-2004 Bachelor of Arts, German Language, Islamic Azad University, Teheran
2004-2007 Expeditions Leader; Head of Department, Ecotour Iran, Teheran
2006-2009 Conservation of the Asiatic Cheetah Project, SGP - Small Grants Programme; UNDP - Unites Nations Development Programme, United Nations, Teheran; Tabas; Yazd
2007-2010 Master of Business Administration, Human Resources, University of Teheran, Teheran; Kish
since 2008 Yoga Teacher; Co-Founder, Dana Yoga Center, Vienna; Teheran; Kish
2014-2016 Health Teacher, UKI - Unterstützungskomitee zur Integration von Migrationen, Vienna
since 2016 Interpreter, ÖIF - Österreichischer Integrationsfonds, Vienna

Lic. phil. I Saida KELLER-MESSAHLI

Founder and President, Forum for a progressive Islam, Zurich

 French linguistics and literature, english literature, science of film, University of Zurich
 International observer, city of Hebron (Westbank), Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bern
 Fimfestivals Visions du Réèl, Nyon
 Swiss Culture Foundation 'Pro Helvetia', Zurich
 High school teacher, French


Austrian Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Vienna

 On 18 December 2017, Dr Karin Kneissl was appointed Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria. Karin Kneissl was born in 1965 in Vienna. She studied law and Arab studies at the University of Vienna. She also studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Amman, the University of Urbino and was a Fulbright scholar at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Karin Kneissl is also a graduate of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA) in Paris. From 1990 to 1998 Karin Kneissl held a number of posts in the Austrian diplomatic service, including in the cabinet of then foreign minister Dr Alois Mock, in the Office of International Law and at the Austrian embassies in Paris and Madrid. Since 1998 Karin Kneissl has worked as an independent lecturer in the areas of international law, Middle Eastern history and the energy market at various universities, including the University of Vienna; the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna; the European Business School in the Rheingau, Germany; the International Centre for Human Sciences in Byblos, Lebanon; Saint-Joseph University in Beirut; as well as at the Austrian Armed Forces National Defence Academy, Vienna and Theresian Military Academy in Wiener Neustadt, Lower Austria. Karin Kneissl has also worked since 1998 as an independent commentator and correspondent for numerous German and English-speaking print media, as well as for the Austrian state broadcaster ORF. She has authored a large number of books and publications. Karin Kneissl is co-founder and vice president of Whistleblowing Austria as well as vice president of the Society for Politico-Strategic Studies, STRATEG. She has worked in local politics in her home community of Seibersdorf and plays an active role in numerous non-profit organisations in Austria and Lebanon. Karin Kneissl speaks various foreign languages: Arabic, English, French, Hebrew (basic), Italian, Hungarian (basic) and Spanish.

Mag. Nalan GÜNDÜZ

Self-employed, Graz

2008-2009 Part time lawyer, Law office Mag. Britta Schönhart, Vienna
2009-2010 Presenter, Information modules at "Start Wien"City of Vienna, Vienna
2009-2011 Lawyer and project manager, Verein Fair und Sensibel - Polizei und AfrikanerInnen, Vienna
2011-2012 Desk officer, Department Integration Coordination Federal Ministry of Interior, Vienna
2013-2016 Integration Representative, Austrian Embassy Ankara, Federal Ministry of Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, Ankara
2016-2017 Deputy head of department, Styria Integration Center, Austrian Integration Fund, Graz
since 2017 AMS-company founding programme (Moderation and intercultural theatre), Graz

Political Symposium

show timetable


12:00 - 16:00Professional Programme “Our World’s Future”Partner
13:00 - 16:00Professional Programme on Strategies of InfluencePartner
13:00 - 16:00Generational perspectives on security policyPartner


07:00 - 10:00Professional Programme on Strategies of InfluencePartner
07:00 - 10:00Devil’s diplomacyPartner
08:00 - 10:00The 2016 US election behind the scenesPlenary
08:00 - 09:30Fireside Talk with Ruth Dreifuss: women and powerPartner
12:00 - 14:30Opening: values and visions of a united EuropePlenary
15:00 - 16:30Acknowledging reality: coming to grips with the international systemPlenary
17:00 - 18:30The USA, the EU and Russia: what changes does the new US administration bring?Plenary


06:30 - 07:30Breakfast Club 03: POLITICO morning briefingPlenary
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 01: War and democracy in Ukraine: what is the future?Breakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 02: From conflicts to collaborative governance: using open data and collective intelligence to achieve public-sector innovationBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 03: May I stay or should I go? The impact of climate change on migrationBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 04: Military cooperation as a means to overcome security challengesBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 05: How to reconcile interests in societies with declining social cohesionBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 06: Alternative facts, provocations and social division: how to deal with populismBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 07: The EU on trial: 60 years of conflict and cooperation in EuropeBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 08: Geoengineering: governance implications, technical options and risksBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 09: Genome editing: governing on the cusp of uncertaintyBreakout
08:00 - 10:30Breakout Session 11: Innovation in a contested environment: from the outside in and the inside outBreakout
10:30 - 11:30Fireside Talk with Talia SassonPartner
10:30 - 12:00Lunch receptionBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 12: Digital Security: Social MediaBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 13: New freedoms, old constraints? Challenges of integrating female refugees in AustriaBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 14: Science-based policy-making in times of post-truth?Breakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 15: Migration and the Arts: Europe’s next narrativeBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 16: The Dublin dilemma and the way outBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 17: Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe: catching up or showing the way?Breakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 18: Mission-oriented innovation policy in practiceBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 19: An end to a costly war: alternatives to failed drug policiesBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 20: The Arctic: new narratives for a disputed territoryBreakout
12:00 - 14:30Breakout Session 21: Democracy reloaded: what can we learn from bottom-up democratic innovations?Breakout
15:30 - 17:00Security and liberty in the digital futurePlenary
17:30 - 19:00Green Innovation: urgent & important at oncePlenary


07:00 - 10:30Transformative pathways to sustainability: from perception to changing behaviourPlenary