Where are the women? A gender approch to refugee law

The Magna Charta of international refugee law…did not purposely leave out persecution on gender…it wasn’t even considered.” Judith Kumin, commenting on the fact that gender is not enumerated among the grounds of persecution in the 1951 Refugee Convention, cited on UNHCR’s webpage (2000-11-23).In 1989, Cynthia Enloe asked the subversive question: “Where are the women?” in her revolutionary work towards gender and international relations. Cynthia Enloe, ”Bananas, Beaches and Bases”, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, 1989, at 7. Her work forms part of an effort at a reconstruction by feminist scholars who seek to make visible both “women” and various types of masculinity and femininity necessary “to make the world go round”. Jan Jindy Pettman, “Worlding Women, a Feminist International Politics, Routledge, Australia, 1996, at ix. The question has become known as “the woman question” and has always been asked in several other areas where women have been invisible for too much time. That it’s still a highly relevant question could be highlighted with the following sample…


1.1. Feminist jurisprudence
1.2. The public/private dichotomy
1.3. Legal equality
1.4. The concepts of women and gender
1.5. Universal human rights for whom?
2.1. Persecution
2.1.1. Persecuting laws and customs
2.1.2. Violence against women In armed conflicts By their family members
2.2. State responsibility
2.2.1. In human rights law
2.2.2. In refugee law
2.3. The grounds for persecution
2.3.1. Race
2.3.2. Religion
2.3.3. Nationality
2.3.4. Member of a particular social group
2.3.5. Political opinion
2.3.6. Gender
2.4. Misconceptualisation or reconceptualisation?
3.1. Legislation
3.1.1. On gender in general
3.1.2. On asylum issues
3.1.3. The confusion of gender
3.2. Practice
3.2.1. Gendered customs and laws
3.2.2. Rape and other forms of sexual violence
3.2.3. Domestic violence
3.2.4. Honour killings

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Source: University of Lund

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