Women’s Right To Asylum: Protecting The Rights Of Female Asylum Seekers In Europe?

Human Rights Review 9 (4):413-433 (2008)
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Criticisms have been made against international laws and conventions on asylum and refugees, arguing that these have been based on a male model of definition, which have ignored women’s persecutions. This article will argue that recent developments in European asylum policy have the potential to deepen this discrimination and to further reduce the rights of female asylum seekers. Although there have been some positive developments in jurisprudence that have recognised that gender-specific persecution may be the basis for granting asylum, these advances remain relatively sporadic and are undermined by the operation of random and discretionary exercises of power by bureaucrats and decision makers in many cases. Further, although new developments in asylum policy are in theory “gender neutral,” differences in the material circumstances of men and women who arrive to seek asylum may mean in effect that the implications of these policies are deeply gendered.



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