Over the past decade, there has been a major shift in Dutch gender equality policy to an almost exclusive focus on migrant women. Simultaneously, the focus of 'minority policies' has shifted more and more towards gender relations. The appearance of migrant women at the top of the political agenda is remarkable. In this article we examine how this construction of migrant women as a political problem has come about, and consider its implications. As we argue, the dominant policy frames of emancipation and individual responsibility are reinforcing a dichotomy between the autochthonous 'us' and the allochthonous 'them'. As the problem is increasingly defined as a cultural one, it is implicitly stated that there is no problem with the dominant culture and society. Barriers for participation are exclusively located in the migrant (Muslim) culture. In this view, Muslim migrants should first change their culture before they can fully integrate in Dutch society. © 2007 The Author(s)Journal Compilation © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.